Posted by News Express | 28 March 2020 | 260 times
By CHARLES IWUOHA
Former Minister of State for Health, Engr. Fidelis Nwankwo, has tasked the Federal Government to be proactive in curtailing the spread of the Coronavirus, through the provision of adequate testing kits in strategic places in the 36 states of the country.
Nwankwo handed the task while interacting with journalists shortly after the award of scholarship to over 66 indigent students from the three Local Government Areas of Izzi clan, majoring in Medicine and other professional courses in various tertiary institutions.
He stated that over 48 indigent students have graduated under his Foundation, ‘Fidelis & Jane Nwankwo Educational Foundation,’ stressing that the purpose of training doctors and other students in professional courses is to develop experts who will help in tackling the outbreak of endemic diseases.
“I and my family, through the Educational Foundation, have embarked on the award of scholarships to indigent students in tertiary institutions. This program started in 1999 and till date, we have trained over 66 indigent students and 48 out of this number have graduated courtesy of our foundation.
“This year alone we have awarded 18 scholarships to students in various tertiary institutions. The beneficiaries are mostly brilliant indigent students from the 3 local government areas that made-up of Izzi clan.
“We expanded from the community to the three Local Government Areas that make-up Izzi Clan. Today, 48 students have graduated, and this year alone we have given another scholarship award to 18 indigent students to run for their complete programs in the university.
“I was inspired to give this scholarship award to indigent students as a result of my quest to contribute to the educational development of youths. I believe that education is the bedrock of any society to grow. Our youths need education to grow and it is through education, that they can discover their talents at tertiary level.
“I encourage youths not to despise education. They should make an honest living through honest hard work. They should reject cultism and other fraudulent businesses,” he said.
Nwankwo, who is also a former Commissioner of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), however warned youths to reject fraudulent businesses since “quick money doesn’t last. And any money gotten through fraudulent means does not lead someone’s permanent prosperity. Beside, you cannot be proud of such money. And so, shortcut is not the best way in becoming rich.
He said: “There is no way education will take the back sit in this nation because we are privileged to be where we are today as a result of education. Both state and federal governments should be obliged to give best education to our youths, because that's the only way we can develop the country.
“Medical doctors are more in number in the scholarship and this may be as a result of their intelligence. In Nigeria, if you look at the doctor ratio to citizens, you see it is very low yet there is exodus of our medical doctors to foreign lands in search of jobs. The situation where doctors will be looking for jobs in Nigeria, even when we have not gotten a required number to satisfy the needs of citizens in hospitals, is something very worrisome.
“We should do more to what we are doing to provide a good working environment to our medical doctors because health is wealth. He however tasked President Mohammadu Buhari led administration to quickly provide more kits in strategic places in the 36 states of the country.
“Nigeria has weaken up to the situation and the response to curtail the spread of coronavirus in the country is not too bad but then, government should be more proactive. There are actions that are coming too late. We observed that we see so much but we do a little.
“But now, there should be more testing kits in strategic places in the country. We also need more education on preventative measures. We don’t wait for the difficult time to come before we start acting. Even when we take some actions, we need to be more scientific on what we are doing.
“Some people will postulate that coronavirus doesn't survive because of high temperature and this is very uninformed opinion. It is not scientifically proved. People shouldn’t because of that and become complacent. Nigeria should give more scientific approach to this. We should work more on curtailment.”
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