By IKENNA OSUOHA
ABUJA- Three-term former Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, Dr Jide Idris, said on Thursday in Abuja that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the only presidential candidate with ideas to address Nigeria’s health vulnerabilities.
Dr Idris was first appointed as commissioner for health by Gov. Bola Tinubu, presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the 2023 elections.
He served in the same position with two of Tinubu’s successors, former Gov. Babatunde Fasola and former Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode.
Idris told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Tinubu’s demonstration of capacity in leadership and in health sector reforms in Lagos State were testaments of his capacity to replicate same on national level.
“He will systematically address the various challenges which include the need to innovatively increase funding or investment in the health sector.
“He will address infrastructure deficits, workforce issues, availability and access to quality care and health insurance, among others,’’ Idris said.
He added that COVID-19 pandemic exposed Nigeria’s vulnerability to public health emergencies and stressed the need to build required capacities and capabilities.
The former health commissioner called for collective efforts by stakeholders for urgent reforms in the health sector.
“We must begin to look at health as an economy and job and wealth creating industry and start developing our local capacities,’’ he stressed.
The former commissioner explained that Tinubu has the capacity to provide solution to the challenges with multiple approaches aimed at addressing them.
“I have no doubt about his capacity to deal with Nigeria’s health vulnerabilities. He understands the human resources needed for the health challenges which include inadequacy in the number of the various professionals.
“There is the need to recruit and train more professionals; address remuneration and other welfare issues, as well as restore the dignity and the social status of healthcare professionals.
“As a strategist, Tinubu has the passion and will surely find a way to address the issues. He has been involved over the years in resolving workforce crises in the health sector,’’ he told NAN.
Idris stated also that Tinubu is the forerunner presidential candidate based on his leadership qualities and more importantly his performance and legacy in the health sector as governor of Lagos State. (NAN)