The Nasarawa State House of Assembly has urged the State Government to initiate special scholarships for the state’s medical and other science students to encourage them in their respective studies.
The assembly said the gesture would also boost the state’s health manpower.
The Speaker of the House, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, made the call after Mr Usman- Labaran Shafa(APC Toto/Gadabuke) raised the issue under matters of public interest during the legislature’s proceedings in Lafia on Tuesday.
Balarabe-Abdullahi said the scholarships would boost the capacity of the state’s indigenous doctors, pharmacists and other health professionals.
According to him, the initiative would encourage those who had the health interest of the people of the state at heart, unlike non indigenous doctors and other health professionals who always embarked on strike without due considerations.
He said that if the state government encouraged the indigenous students to read medicine and other science courses via provision of special scholarships, it would address a lot of problems associated with health workers’ strike.
” I want to thank Hon Shafa, the mover of this motion, and all of you for contributing positively to this important matter of the health of our people.
” When I heard about the health workers strike by the state and local government workers, I immediately directed the House committees on Health and Local Government to intervene and resolve all their differences amicably.
” The health workers at the local government level suspended their strike by reasoning with us as most of them are our indigenes, while those at the state level refused to suspend their strike in spite of the house intervention.
” The state government, through the Deputy Governor, who is their colleague, also spoke to them severally on the matter but they refused. I was surprised even with the threat of COVID-19.
“I am not saying that doctors and other health workers should not be given what belongs to them or that they should not pursue their rights no, I am saying that they should be considerate and have human feeling as they took oath to protect lives.
” Strike should be the last option not the first option.”
” Honestly, I have agreed with all the contributions made by all of you by passing the following resolutions to the effect that .
” The state government as a matter of urgency, should initiate the establishment of a Medical School in the state, particularly at the state-owned University, Keffi, and to encourage our indigenous students to read medicine and other science related courses to serve our people.
” The state government is encouraged to arrange for special scholarships for our medical students studying in different universities.
” The state House of Assembly is also of the view that professional ethics of medical doctors should be respected, and establishment of private hospitals by medical doctors engaged by the state government should be discouraged or possibly be scrapped, ” the speaker said.
He directed the Clerk of the House to communicate the resolution to Gov. Abdullahi Sule for action.
Earlier, Mr Usman- Labaran Shafa( APC-Toto Gadabuke), Chairman, House Committee on Health, appealed to his colleagues to support his motion to enable the state government to train indigenes of the state in medicine and other science related courses for long term benefits.
Shafa, while giving reasons for his motion, said that most of the doctors that always went on strike without considering its implications on citizens or putting the interest of the state at heart, found it easy because they were non indigenes.
” I want this honourable house to give optimal consideration to my motion that the state government should as a matter of urgency and necessity, initiate an avenue for intervention.
“We will begin to have our indigenous medical professionals, and the general health being of the citizens will be guaranteed through a bond between the state government and the beneficiaries of the scholarship, ” he said..
Mr Daniel Ogazi, the House Deputy Leader, seconded the motion and members who spoke during the deliberation also expressed their support.
In a related development, a bill for a law to repeal the Nasarawa State Local Government Staff Pension Board Edict 1998 and Re-Enact Nasarawa State Local Government Pension Board Law 2020 scaled first reading during the House proceedings as it was sponsored by Mr Muhammad Odege Okpoku (APC) representing Udege/Loko constituency.
Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf (NAN)
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