The founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola has urged President Bola Tinubu to seek debt relief from international creditors.
Babalola made this call during the 6th Induction Ceremony of 2023 graduating set of College of Medical and Health Sciences, ABUAD, by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday.
He said, “Nigeria is one of the heaviest debtors in the world, I have written articles about it, let us investigate how we came to several trillions of dollars, what do we spend it on? I can assure you, these money are pocketed by those who said they collected it.
“Let us call on Obasanjo again to advise the present government. When we were in serious trouble in the 90s, after he took over, he went round all the creditors and begged them, one, to peg the interest, two, to even reduce the indebtedness and today, we are better for it.
“Unless we do that, this indebtedness will cripple this country and it will lead to anything. I have seen people especially, in the North who are agitating because of the fact that the naira is getting worse, food prices are high, no employment, and those who get it are not paid. Something has to be done about it.”
Babalola, however, condemned the recent killings of two traditional rulers in Ekiti state and hike in food prices, attributing the phenomena to the ‘worthless’ value of naira currency which has propelled an average Nigerian to succumb to heinous acts and other criminalities in order to make ends meet.
He urged the federal government to intensify efforts at tackling insecurity so that farmers can access their farms without fear and enable all Nigerians to be producers of crops by investing in Agriculture.
The Legal Icon also called on the federal government to increase the salaries of teachers across all the levels of education to bolster their teaching delivery towards achieving and sustaining quality education in the country, as it has been in the 20th century.
His words, “Monarchs are killed, it is an unusual development, so, what is behind all these is the fact that we have no money, our money has no value, our currency is as worthless as toilet paper, something has to be done about naira and productivity.
“Farmers have left their farms now because of kidnappers, something has to be done about kidnapping and farmers have to be encouraged to go back to their farms.”
Meanwhile, during the 6th induction ceremony, no fewer than 12 Students of College of Medicine and Health Sciences of ABUAD bagged distinctions as the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) inducted 161 students of 2023 graduating set.
The students recorded excellence in courses such as: Community Medicine, Surgery, Pathology, Pharmacology, Anatomy, Biochemistry, Physiology and Integrated General Medical Courses.
After the physician pledge, the Registrar, MDCN, Dr Tajudeen Sanusi discouraged the trends of ja-pa syndrome and advised the inductees to return to Nigeria if given placements to train outside the country.
Commenting on the woes of debts owed by the government, Afe Babalola urged President Bola Tinubu to adopt former president Obasanjo’s style, by seeking reduction in the interest of the loan and the loan itself.
This according to him will lessen the burden of the loan on the country and bolster its economic growth.
The legal luminary equally urged the inductees not to contribute to the brain drain syndrome which has adversely affected medical profession in Nigeria.
He admonished them to embrace local health care delivery targeted at placing Nigeria on the map of development in terms of medical expertise and by decreasing the impact of medical tourism.
“Japa is an unknown development in this country, as a result of japa, we have lost so many doctors, even professors, young men, those who can change our country, this has to stop.
“The only way to stop it is the increment in salaries of workers which in my own case I did, we increased the salary of our teachers here by 35% and we have been paying that every 25th of the month, for four months now and it continues.
Also, the President of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), represented by the Chairman of Ekiti State Branch, Dr. Babatunde Rosiji advised the newly inducted medical doctors to always strive for skills acquisition by breaking boundaries and pushing beyond their horizons.
In his lecture titled: “Finding Purpose in Chaos, Medical Education and Practice in Contemporary Times”, Professor Babatope Kolawole equally urged the inductees to work hard diligently and contribute to their host communities with their medical experiences.
The best graduating student was Chukwuma Nnanyereugo with 5 distinctions, other students who distinguished themselves include: Onuoha Wereuche, Olawoyin Olakunle, Ekanem Imayuse, Ibe Adaobi, Idoko Oyine, Onoja Ojoagefu, Azubuike Adaugo, Orafu Chinonyelum, Raji Joy, Shaba Adewunmi. and Ukah Chinenye. (Vanguard)