COVID-19: Nigeria needs social and health security law now, says HEDA
- President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised on how to handle the post-COVID-19 crisis
- A group, HEDA Resource Centre has advocated for a social security and health insurance law for all Nigerians
- The group also called on the president to place a ban on foreign medical treatment abroad by public officials
The Human Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has advocated for a social security and health insurance law for all Nigerians as the coronavirus pandemic continues globally.
In a letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, April 15, the group urged the Nigerian leader to compel the federal ministry of health to initiative social security and health insurance law.
The group further stated that the law will cover every Nigerian irrespective of class or status.
President Buhari was also asked to give express instructions to ban public office holders from going abroad for health-related issues with a moratorium of one year to enable the country lay the foundation for a new beginning in the floundering health sector and allow some of the officials transfer their health profile from foreign hospitals.
The group warned that after dealing with the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, many Nigerians will face very tough economic challenges that will leave them battered and wounded especially in the absence of any social security and health insurance for the teeming population.
“The law will save millions of vulnerable Nigerians who are on the lowest point of the ladder and will help tame the rising wave of social discontentment, the letter signed by HEDA's chairman,” Olanrewaju Suraju stated.
The foremost anti-corruption group also urged the Senate and the House of Representatives to prepare themselves for a speedy passage of the bill which will protect Nigerians from an imminent economic downturn.
The group said the uprising in some parts of Nigeria due to the lockdown was not unconnected with the poor conditions, the lack of opportunities and the absence of any legal economic safety nets.
“A social security and health insurance law will guarantee hope for Nigerians, minimize public aggression, crime and deviant behaviour that we see on Nigerian streets today, largely induced by poverty,” Suraju said.
HEDA said the only way to cause automatic government interest in the development of public health institutions is for the president to give an executive order banning political office holders from going abroad for medical treatment.
“We need a radical approach judging from the experience learnt due to COVID-19.
“President Buhari should issue an executive order banning all public officers from seeking medical test and treatment abroad, with a moratorium of one year for the uplifting of our health facilities and transfer of their medical records to Nigeria,” the group said.
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Meanwhile, a former member of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce says he misses Nigeria and can't wait to return as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the world.
Murray-Bruce, 64, who is currently in the United States of America in a tweet on Friday, April 10, shared a photo of himself wearing a black face-mask.
“This is how we are currently living in America. I miss Nigeria. I can’t wait to return,” he wrote.
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