Senate Minority Whip, Philip Aduda (of the Peoples Democratic Party, Federal Capital Territory), has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to be committed in the fight against poverty, the same way he is determined to wipe out corruption in the country.
He said that members of the 8th National Assembly have resolved to support all the programmes of the present government, including its anti-graft posture, irrespective of their political differences.
Aduda, represented by his Senior Legislative Aide, Ali Dankawu, stated these on Friday in Abuja, during the official inauguration of Bwari Area Council’s community-based Social Health Insurance Programme.
He said, “I will want to use this medium to commend the President’s fight against corruption. It is indeed, a worthwhile policy because, like some Nigerians have postulated, if Nigeria did not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria.
“Be that as it may, I am calling on Mr. President to consider marrying the fight against corruption alongside the fight against poverty, which is biting hard throughout the nooks and crannies of the country.
“It is true that health is wealth, but poverty definitely translates to ill-health. Poverty is already robbing Nigerians of some basic needs of livelihood, such as food, especially balanced diet, shelter and safety of lives and property.”
Also speaking at the event, the acting Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Olufemi Akingbade, said about 51 million Nigerians are expected to have access to free healthcare services in 2017 without having to pay at the point of service.
According to him, the aim is to remove out-of-pocket payment and make health care services accessible to all Nigerians, especially pregnant women, vulnerable people and children under the age of five.
He also stated that besides the over one million students currently being covered in various tertiary institutions across the country, by the year 2025, every Nigerian will access the coverage which has been described as “a presidential mandate.”