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Osinbajo urges academics’ contributions to healthcare, tertiary education reforms

Vice-President (Prof.) Yemi Osinbajo, SAN

*Nigerian Vice-President (Prof.) Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, engages academics for contributions to a number of topical national development issues

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has called on Nigerian Professors and other academics to take keen interest, especially in issues of education and healthcare, exploring options for reforms and innovations in those human capital development sectors of the economy.

ConsumerConnect reports the call was the highlight of a virtual meeting held last Friday between the Vice-President Osinbajo, and a team of professors drawn from the six geo-political zones of Nigeria, under the auspices of the Progressive Intellectuals Advisory Group (PIAG).

Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice-President, in a statement issued Monday, July 11, 2022, said Prof. Osinbajo interacted with the dons on a number of topical national development issues.

The Vice-President urged stakeholders, especially members of professional bodies to make contributions towards addressing them.

He stated while discussing tertiary education at the forum: “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.”

Osinbajo further said: “One of the things I have been thinking about is 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.”

The Vice-President noted: “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.”

Prof. Shehu Adamu, Leader of the group and Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), spoke about the need for Nigeria to strengthen the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) option in order to address the issue of access to university education in the country.

Missed Opportunity

Likewise in the healthcare industry, Prof. Osinbajo urged members of the group to support the Federal Government’s efforts at reforming the healthcare system by contributing to ideas that will make health insurance work effectively in the country.

According to him, a Health Reform Committee is already in place looking at the relevant issues.

Osinbajo further stated: “The second thing is healthcare and how we can fund it.

“It is evident that the government by budget alone cannot fund health care sufficiently and in the scope that is required.”

He as well said: “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.

“So, it is evident that we need to do something different and that is health insurance, it remains the way to aggregate or pull resources for healthcare. “We now have a new health insurance law that makes health insurance compulsory and a few other provisions that are helpful.”

The Vice-President stated:

“But I think that this is something that we have to take a good look at also.”

Osinbajo commended the Professors for their support in the race to the All Progressives Congress  presidential primaries held June 2022.

He described their support as “one that I greatly treasure above others.”

According to him, the visiting group of professors “understands better my motivation for running and the motivation for the views I expressed.”

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

In separate remarks, Professors Nasiru Yauri, Philip Okolo, Ernest Ugbejeh and Yahaya Baba lauded Osinbajo’s dedication to the development of Nigeria and style of leadership, noting that “you (Vice President) remain deeply rooted in our hearts.”

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