Featured Health Science

Why Nigerian Governments Not Concerned With Mass Exportation of Goods in Human Flesh?

Written by Pyramid FM Kano

Africa is a land of unlimited resources hence the colonial power leaves no stone unturned in search of those goods to service the modern capitalist states further north of the equator.

At the expense of the continent, the European colonialists exploit – cocoa from Ghana, coal from South Africa, diamond from Sierra Leone, coal, cotton, groundnut and hide & skin from Nigeria, iron & steel from Algeria, rubber in Liberia, tea from Kenya, and timber from the rainforest of Zaire (now DRC) and so on. Africans were also traded. That exploitative Europe based colonial policy has instilled in Africa a lasting legacy of inertia as well as laziness of grave consequences.

Worst of all, it imprints in African minds the desire to become nomads in search of enhance conditions in any available wage valuing nation within and outside the continent. The process has indeed pushed the continent and her people into dire risk of both self and ecological catastrophe. We have now turned more into human commodities than the postulated scenarios in the late 1980s by late Ali Mazrui.

In this piece, the focus is on a version of commodification of humans (labourers) of the mid 17th century (where Africans were exported to Americas, parts of Europe and West Indies to serve new industries in Europe and USA). The version I termed ‘eternal legacy of colonial exploitation’ has brought in a modern day voluntary migration of professional Africans (in herds) to more advanced modern economies in search of better life at the expense of the continent.

Fundamental question here is why isn’t the Government of Nigeria so concerned with the massive export of medical doctors and teachers out of the country (within the last 8 years) despite addressing herself nationalistic?.

The assertion that there were hospitals without drugs, nurses without bandage and doctors without hypodermic needles in most African countries in the late 1980s according to late Ali Mazrui best depicts Nigeria Health sector today. More to that, the looming crises of mass migration of doctors and academics which the government seems to encourage. In the last 2 years, no fewer than 9000 medical doctors left Nigeria to UK, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states out of which 100 are consultants according to the Medical and Dental Consultants of Nigeria (MDCAN).

Amidst shutting down of all the nation’s institutions of higher learning where medical doctors are trained and courtesy of poor working conditions in all sectors of the economy, 70 percent of the remaining ones are mulling the idea of moving out. As reported, the gap in doctor to patient ratio is widening.

Accordingly, the ratio as of year 2022 is 1:5000 in sharp contrast to the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of 1:600 and as opposed the India’s ratio of 1:854. Over 5000 Nigerian doctors works in South Africa since 2018 while over 200 million Nigerians are left to access medical care from patent stores. And the President and members of his cabinet spent millions of foreign exchange on medical tourism.

Since assuming power in 2015, the President has travelled to UK more than 10 times for one form of condition or the other which is apostolic to the European masters and atrocious to Nigeria and his campaign mantra.

Read Also: Delegates or Money Pits?

Recently, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and the Minister of Information and Culture decried the dollarization of the medical tourism to the turn of $1.6 billion (664bn in May 2022); a move that only exposes their shear incompetence and that of their blame game administration. I ask who has the ability to go to even Egypt for any worst case apart from you when the number of poor persons in Nigeria roses yearly?. As of 2022 there are 95.1 million in poverty from 89.0 in 2020 as reported in many newspapers.

According to UNICEF in 2021 the under five mortality rate is 113.8/1000 live births as a result of increase in the proportion of population using unimproved drinking water sources among other factors. Death rate is also high at 11.4/1000 population in 2020 according to the World Bank. So, why is the Nigerian Government not so concerned about mass exodus of good medical doctors?.

The President, the Governors, Senators (here Ekweremadu in my mind), Representatives and all powerful officials should answer this or posterity will judge them. The Minister of Health of Nigeria recently asserted that there are enough doctors in the system because they are producing up to 2000 or 3000 doctors every year in the country and the number leaving is less than 1000. According to him if one doctor resigns today and goes abroad, we will employ one doctor. So the politics goes on.

Our founding fathers (Nyerere here) were right that “while the rest of the advanced world is moving to the moon, we still are trying to access the village”. Indeed the celestial bodies are closer to some while we still navigate between pot holes to doom. Nigeria is in this quagmire and we are not assured if we are inoculated against the consequences of mass migration of professionals to already built modern societies.

May God save my Nigeria.

Remember it is not over until it is over.

Nuraddeen Danjuma.
Bayero University Kano.

Leave a Comment