From Okwe Obi, Abuja
In a bid to squarely tackle the malaria scourge in Nigeria, a former member of the House of Representatives, Prince Ned Nwoko, has proposed a total lockdown of the country to allow for fumigation.
Nwoko, who spoke in Abuja at a malaria awareness campaign, said the fumigation exercise would create over 500,000 jobs for youths.
He also suggested the setting up one recycling plant in each of Nigeria’s 774 local governments to collect waste that causes malaria.
The former representative, who did not give a cost estimate of the proposed operation, said that the fumigation would be environmentally-friendly.
‘A malaria-free country is what I have been advocating for the past 2 years, which is extreme sanitation, waste management from all homes, places and streets to specify stations where they will build at least one recycling plant in each local government area in this country and then total fumigation,’ he stated.
‘But, of course, we focus on research for vaccines. Fumigation on its own will create over 500,000 jobs. When you talk about fumigation, it is not the type you do at home and the next day all the mosquitoes will come back again. No.
‘We are talking about holistic fumigation that is from one end of Nigeria to the other. This means that there will be a total lockdown for a period of time maybe a day or or two. There will air fumigation, ground fumigation and sea fumigation.
‘We already have pilots that are ready to do this. They have what it takes. Talking about the chemicals, the chemicals are environmental-friendly, except [for the] mosquitoes.
‘They are going to target mosquitoes and kill them. We are working on the agency. We actually submitted a bill to the National Assembly on this. It would be called malaria and sanitation agency of Nigeria.
‘We are working and meeting with National Assembly members. We hope that in the next three months it would have received first reading in the parliament.
‘There has to be an agency. We must move a way from the norm. It will not be business as usual. Treated net is just a selective effort that you need here and there.
‘The cost is enormous but it is not like the cost of COVID-19 that we read that the Federal Government is paying N500 billion.
‘This is something so important got all of us because we all suffer from malaria. Malaria is our problem and we must focus on it,’ he said.