Health/Education: Sen Umar Blames Incessant Strikes on Poor Economy

Sen Sadiq Umar

THE Nigerian Health and Education sectors will continue to witness incessant strikes unless the economy of the nation improves, Senator Sadiq Suleiman Umar, Deputy Chairman Senate Committee on Health has said.

Umar, representing Kwara North Senatorial District at the Senate said the oiling of the wheels of the two sectors, were effective the world over, is not the exclusive duties of all the strata governments.

He, therefore, urged personnel at the sectors to live by the existing reality of the paucity of funds in the nation’s economy believed to be civil service driven with high premium placed on monthly payments of workers’ salaries.

The lawmaker spoke on Friday in Ilorin, the state capital while giving his score cards as a member of the 9th Senate.

He sharply criticised attempts at right sizing the workforce in the sectors but proposed instead the option of their privatization or at the least, a workable Public-Private Partnership.

For him, workers in both sectors could not get all their needed demands at once from the government, urging them to continue to endure and shun steps that could plunge them into frequent crisis.

According to him, education and health services are not to be government’s responsibilities alone. It should be the responsibilities of every citizens. Incessant strikes occur here due to lack of proper equipments with which to work.

Sen Sadiq Umar with newsmen in Ilorin

“The stark reality is that the needed money to revamp these two most important sectors at once, surpassed the whole budgetary allocations of Nigerian economy. At present, Nigeria is not rich. It is the bitter truth and a bitter pill to swallow.”

The lawmaker while bemoaning the high propensity of population growth in Nigeria vis a viz the economic development supported by annual budgetary allocations of about N16 trillion, said it could lead to economic crisis if not effectively managed.

He noted, “by the year 2050, the nation’s present population would double and therefore makes it one of the most populus nations of the world.

“The present budget of about N16 trillion if not improved upon before then will be very difficult to drive Nigeria to its eldorado.”

Umar supported the idea of economic diversification but with a caveat that the proposition could only be feasible under an economy laden with technological growth.

Justifying the crave by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government for assessing loans to finance most projects in the country, he said without the development, it would be cumbersome for the nation to embark upon projects implementations.

He added, “how much is Nigeria owing compared to what the United States of America as a nation is owing?

“We will discover that our debt is just a fraction of what the American nation is owing. The reality is that we need loan to stimulate the economy and prevent it from collapsing.”

Speaking on the Electoral Bill that the President has failed to assent to, the Senator said the seeming present inertia attitude of the Senate to the President’s assent refusal was to allegedly prevent a Constitutional crisis.

He promised to continue to support the health and education progressions of his people via churning out of more robust programmes that would fasttrack their socio, political and economic growths.

Edited by Felix Ajide


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