Mrs Ene Obi, Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to invest more in the public service, especially the health sector of the country.
Obi made the call on Tuesday in Abuja at the launch of a research report to mark the 2020 International Public Service Day.
The title of the report is: “Who Cares for the Future; Finance Gender Responsive Public Services.” The event was organised by the ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with Public Services International (PSI) and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).
PSI, an NGO, is a global federation of over 600 affiliated public sector trade unions. It is based in Ferney-Voltaire near The United Nations in Geneva. Obi said the research was aimed at generating evidence to support the development of the policy change agenda on gender responsive public services focusing on the health sector. She added that the research was conducted in Kwara, Bauchi and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Obi added that findings from the research revealed that the healthcare delivery in Nigeria had grossly been underfunded by all tiers of government. “Other than the poor funding of the healthcare sector by the government, limited supervision of healthcare providers in the private and public sector undermines government’s intention to rapidly scale up access to quality health care for Nigerians. “From all indications, COVID-19 will have a dramatic impact on public finances in the short and medium term in our country. “We know that this is an intense period for the Nigerian government as it tries to secure resources for desperately needed services in a difficult environment. “The pandemic has made the rebuilding of public finances for public health and other public services crucial. “This period should be considered an opportunity for fundamental system change and transformation, as the government looks for structural solutions and new ways forward,” she said. Obi also recommended that the government should coordinate with other countries to suspend or if possible, cancel all debt payments through to the end of 2021. (NAN)