Monday, October 2, 2023

Nigerian professors should pursue innovative healthcare, education reforms: Osinbajo

“Given the rate of interest in tertiary education, we cannot cope with the brick-and-mortar approach.

• July 11, 2022
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says professors and other academics must take a keen interest in education and healthcare, exploring options for reform and innovation.

Mr Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the vice president had a virtual meeting with a team of professors drawn from the six geopolitical zones under the auspices of the Progressive Intellectuals Advisory Group (PIAG).

Mr Osinbajo, who interacted with the professors on a number of topical national development issues, urged stakeholders especially members of professional bodies, to make contributions towards addressing them.

“Given the rate of interest in tertiary education, we cannot cope with the brick-and-mortar approach. We won’t be able to cope with the numbers in the near future because there will be millions more who will not be able to get into our schools,” stated the vice president.

He said one of the things he had always thought about was how to be deliberate about online tertiary education and how to develop it to the point where Nigeria offers the best services in the sector.

“One of the things I want us to think about is how we can develop this idea and in what ways we can put together a plan, even if it is just an outline so we can push the idea further,” he added.

On healthcare, Mr Osinbajo called on the group to support President Muhammadu Buhari regime’s efforts to reform the healthcare system by contributing to ideas that would make health insurance work effectively in the country.

“The second thing is health care and how we can fund it, adding that it was evident the government, by budget alone, could not fund health care sufficiently and in the required scope,” explained Mr Osinbajo. “No matter what we do and how hard we pushed, we still haven’t been able to get close to our Abuja Declaration threshold budget for healthcare, either at the federal or at the state level.”

Mr Osinbajo added, “We now have a new health insurance law that makes health insurance compulsory and a few other provisions that are helpful. But I think that this is something that we have to take a good look at also.”

The vice president thanked the professors for supporting him as APC presidential aspirant. According to Osinbajo, the group understands better his motivation for contesting the APC presidential primary election and the motivation for the views he expressed.

He assured the academics of his commitment to the cause of a better Nigeria and promised not to give up the struggle.

The group’s leader and dean of the faculty of health Sciences at the National Open University of Nigeria, Shehu Adamu, also spoke about the need for Nigeria to strengthen the open and distance learning (ODL) option to address the issue of access to university education.

In separate remarks, Nasiru Yauri, Philip Okolo, Ernest Ugbejeh and Yahaya Baba commended the vice president’s dedication to the development of Nigeria and his style of leadership.

They said Mr Osinbajo remained deeply rooted in their hearts and that their support of his presidential ambition was based on his track record and ideas about transforming Nigeria.

The group pledged to work for Mr Osinbajo in his future aspirations.


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