When Mr Bill Gates was in Nigeria last week at the expanded National Executive Council Meeting of the federal government, one of the statements he made that is still dominating discourse is the atrocious state of Nigerian healthcare. According to him, Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places to give birth on earth with the fourth largest mortality rate after Chad, Sierra Leone and Central African Republic.
The Microsoft founder insists that our desired development won’t come until we invest heavily in education and health which aids human capital development instead of physical infrastructures that we are borrowing billions to execute. The fact remains that Bill Gates only re-echoed the sentiments of the average Nigerian as regards the dying state of education in Nigeria.
Baring any change of heart, the management of the college of Medicine University of Ibadan has imposed an arbitrary increment on the school fees payable by its medical students. According to the new fee regime which is more than 100% increment, the students are expected to pay the total sum of #185,000 from its initial pay of #55,000.
As at the time of writing this story, the reason behind the increment has not been made known but the students have cried out in condemnation of the decision. This increment is coming at a time the economy situation in the country is unstable and a time we need more doctor’s to attend to Nigerians owing to the unending migration of Nigerian Doctors to other nations of the world.
This increment has shown truly that the Federal government is not interested in the effectiveness of the educational sector, the University of Ibadan college of Medicine is literally a federal government owned institution which fee should be affordable by all and sundry. Doing otherwise will have a negative effect on both education and health sector in the nation.
In a country like Nigeria where the lives of politicians are heavily subsidized (I’m looking at you, furniture allowance), medical education can and should be subsidized.