Sultan of Sokoto, who doubles as President General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in Nigeria, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has urged government to stop wasting money on physical structures in the name of hospitals.
Instead, he suggested that government at all level should divert such funds to other essential endeavours, which would have direct impact and benefit to the common man.
Perhaps, speaking against the backdrop of many abandoned white elephants projects which cost billions of naira but without having direct impact in the lives of the common people, he appealed to the government to be circumspect in expending public funds.
The Sultan, made this observation at the stakeholders’ meeting of the Northern Traditional Rulers Consultative Forum held yesterday at his residence, adding that the suggestion becomes necessary, as he has observed that government was pumping money to physical structures without correspondent benefit to the people.
While reminding those responsible for providing good health care service to our people to consider what is paramount he said, “We know drugs are paramount in all hospital but if you go to so many hospitals around our domain you will only see good structures but no drugs and new technology to examine patient.
“I strongly oppose this idea of investing billions of naira in building than spending on drugs that would sustain the patient,” he said and attributed this to refusal to assign roles to traditional rulers, who he said are the eyes of common man at grassroots level.
“We are only sacrificing our time and energy and resources when its come to developments and goal. You don’t allocate billions of naira to us to spend in various health sectors,” he said stressing that because traditional rulers are closer to the people they know what the people need.
Further, he pledged on behalf of the traditional rulers their commitment to work hand-in-hand with any other organisations that working at eradicating polio, poverty, cases of maternal mortality, and abuse of women’s rights in our society.
The emir said though government do seek advice from them, but regretted that their advice are hardly listened to nor are they involved in the execution of projects for the common man.
“In fact, we are going to do our best as in the polio endemic eradication programme that we took active part and today Nigeria is among those delisted in the endemic syndrome”.
Earlier, Sokoto State Governor, Waziri Tambuwal, said he would give priority attention to health sector. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Abdullahi Kakale, represented Tambuwal.