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Ondo residents decry slow pace of development in nation’s education, health, agriculture

Residents of Ondo State have expressed a grave concern over the slow pace of development in the nation’s health, agriculture and education sectors.

Agriculture Photo: shutterstock

Residents of Ondo State have expressed a grave concern over the slow pace of development in the nation’s health, agriculture and education sectors.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Akure on Monday that it was unfortunate that Nigeria at 62 years, still depends largely on the foreign nations to survive.

Commenting, Mr Abayomi Monilari, the President, Ondo State Farmers Congress, compared Nigeria to a 62-year- old man, who still depends on others to survive.

Monilari, also the state Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) said, “It is unfortunate that Nigeria still depends on others to feed itself at 62.”

He also said it was unfortunate that with the numbers of years of existence as a nation, Nigeria was still importing agricultural products from the neighbouring countries.

According to him, it is not a good omen that the country relies on importing agricultural products, in spite of the expanse of arable lands that it is endowed with.

“We ought to have improved beyond this pedestal level. The government should do something, if possible, ban everything ‘banable’.

“By the time we suffer for a year, we will get to the promised land.

“We need to put up a lot of sacrifice to be able to achieve any tangible thing as far as food production is concerned.

“If we believe we should be importing, it won’t allow us to grow. We need to grow agriculturally.

“We have neglected some important things in the past, which could have made the agricultural sector to grow,” he said.

Monilari said that our eyes seem to have been opened to the reality now.

“We should be able to do the needful to take agriculture to the next level.

“The government should encourage the farmers more so that they can do these things.

“When we talk of rice, we can produce it, if we have an enabling environment. There is no need to import rice.

“I think we should forget about importing anything agriculture product; we should be self-reliant,” the president of the farmers said.

Also, Dr Ibikunle Fakorede, a former President, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Federal Medical Centre, Owo, called for the declaration of a state of emergency in the nation’s health sector.

Fakorede, decrying the state of health in Nigeria, regretted that the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act, “is not rendering the expected services to Nigerian people”.

According to him, Nigeria needs to overhaul the NHIA Act, have new laws and also incorporate the market women and artisans into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

“A suggestion for better services is for telecommunications service providers such as MTN, Airtel among others, to tax on phone calls and give a certain percentage to the National Health Insurance Scheme.

“This overhaul won’t be an easy task because new laws need to be reenacted and other numerous things before the system normalises again.

“It will be tough for some years, but it needs to be done as soon as possible, because Nigeria has a long way to go.

“Our nurses, doctors and other health workers are leaving the country in droves for better remuneration.

“But, when you consider the workload and environment in which these health workers are subjected to here in Nigeria, and compare these with other smaller countries, even in Africa, we can’t blame them for seeking greener pastures,” he said.

In his reactions, Mr Sunday Bamidele, a Sociologist, said Nigeria, at its 62nd independence anniversary, had a lot to do to improve its education sector, adding “the standard is very low”.

Bamidele, who said the Nigerian education sector had been totally crippled, cited the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as an example.

“We are the giant of Africa and our education standard should not be in comatose. I blame our leaders for this.

“It is not something we should be proud of. When compared to the education system in other climes, such as the western world or even South Africa, we are nowhere.

“If we have a scale of 10 to rate our education sector with the western world, then, we should be at two,” he said.

The sociologist, however, urged the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the ASUU strike and to also take considerable measures to improve the nation’s education sector.