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News track: | COVID-19: Experts urge FG to consider expatriate law on Chinese doctors

A former United Nations Diplomat, Mr Oseloka Obaze, has called on the Federal Government to establish that Nigerian doctors’ capacity and competence were inadequate before opening the country’s doors to Chinese doctors.
Obaze, a Governance and Policy expert, made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Awka on Monday.

NAN reports that the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had at a news conference recently disclosed that a consignment of medical supply donated by a group of Chinese companies working in Nigeria was being expected.

NAN also reports that a team of Chinese doctors will accompany the supply to help fortify the country’s medical team fighting the Coronavirus in Nigeria.

“A special cargo aircraft shall leave Nigeria in a few days to collect the items which include Personal Protective Equipment and ventilators.

“Of great interest is that an 18-man team of medical experts from China, including doctors, nurses and medical experts shall come along with the flight to assist us,” he said.

Obaze observed that COVID-19 management in the country was impressive considering the statistics as compared with other countries and wondered about additional value the expected Chinese doctors would bring.

He cited the Presidential Executive Order 05(8a) which says that the Ministry of Interior must ensure expatriates quota for projects, contracts and programmes were granted in line with the provision of Immigration Act and other relevant laws.

“Where qualifications and competence of Nigerian nationals are not available or cannot be ascertained, which shall be contingent on training such number of persons as may be required for the execution of the contract or project.

“So, the question is what are these Chinese coming to do that our own doctors have not been able to do?, The Federal Government must ensure that this provisions of this law are met.

“Again, human resources is the highest resource China has, they will send out as much as is possible because they have more than enough but what value are they coming to add,” he said.

The writer and politician said efforts should be intensified to ensure that the sit at home order was strictly observed by Nigerians as prevention remains the best option for the country.

On the disbursement of relief funds and material, Obaze said it would be unwieldy for Federal Government to do it centrally, urging it t o hand over the items to state governments for onward distribution.

“I have said before that Federal Government should give states the relief money so that they can work with the local governments, communities and the wards to reach the people that need them.

“This is a national emergency not politics, you don’t work out the list in Abuja, the aim is to reach Nigerians who are in their houses without food,” he said.

(Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Peter Ejiofor) 


Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.

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