By EricJames Ochigbo
Abuja, March 8, 2021 Stakeholders at a public hearing on Monday, expressed support for the bill seeking to establish a Federal University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Bida, Niger.
The bill which sought to provide qualitative education in medicine, health sciences and other related matters was sponsored by Rep. Musa Abdulahi (APC-Niger).
The stakeholders also expressed support for a bill seeking to establish Nigerian Health Infrastructure Development Bank.
Niger deputy governor Ahmed Mohammed thanked the house for considering the bill worthy of deliberations.
Mohammed who expressed delight, said the public hearing was a sign that the bill would soon be passed by the house.
He said the bill was very important to Niger, urging the committee to lobby other members to ensure its quick passage.
Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire said that the country needed more doctors and other health professionals which the university sought to provide to bridge the gap.
“First, we need the infrastructure, we need the human resources and we need equipment, we cannot have one without the other.
“So, when we think of training doctors, we should think of everything that goes along with it,”he said.
“There should be a primary healthcare in every ward, and a General Hospital in every Local Government Area to be manned by doctors,”he said.
Ehanire said that the ministry was in support of the bill seeking to establish health infrastructure development bank,
He, however, said that the ministry will have to consult the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for further consultations.
A former President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Dr Omede Idris, said that the association was in support of the bills.
He said there was only one Federal University of Medicine and Health Sciences in the country, saying that establishing another one was a welcome development.
Declaring the public hearings open, Speaker of House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, said that the hearing was to ensure collaborative governance.
He said that it was necessary to allow citizens and stakeholders contribute their experience and perspective to the legislative process.
According to him, this is to ensure that legislative outcomes reflect the concerns and expectations of the greatest number of our nation’s citizens.
“Each of these bills seeks to alter the architecture of our nation’s public health services in ways that will hopefully improve the lives of our people.
“This is either through increasing options available for medical training or providing access to medical facilities in places where there is an evident need.
The purpose of this public hearing today is to harvest the views and opinions of stakeholders so that through the aggregation of those contributions, the House can act to improve each of these Bills in line with the best expectations of the citizens,”he said.