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COVID-19 has taught Nigeria some lessons –El-Rufai

El-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, on Saturday said that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught Nigeria a few lessons, which included a revelation of the state of healthcare facilities in the county.

The governor, who spoke during a webinar to mark the 63rd birthday of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, also said that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that Nigeria was on its own in solving its challenges.

He said: “In my view, the lessons are that we are on our own. The rest of the world does not care. The rest of the world is becoming increasingly nationalistic.

“As a state government, we are even trying to get test kits for COVID-19 because America and Europe are buying up everything. Nobody cares about Africa. They only think of us when they want to test vaccines or when something dangerous is to be tried. So, we must be more nationalistic and try to develop our internal capacity to produce and be self-sufficient. This was what Osun State under Rauf Aregbesola has tried to do and I think this is a lesson for all of us.

Read also: I infected four people with COVID-19, El-Rufai reveals

“Look at our health care system; we are struggling to deal with this pandemic. Today, the fact that the (late) Chief of Staff to the President (Abba Kyari) went and check himself in a private hospital when he got tested positive for COVID-19 is a very clear message that we are in trouble.

“So, what happens today if our President is sick? We can’t fly him abroad; most countries have closed their airports. Do we have a hospital that can look after the President of Nigeria? In our individual state, do we have a public hospital that can look after the governors? When I tested positive, I got treated by the public health system and here I am.

“We must begin to think of how to make government intervene in the right places but not to be obstructionist.”

El-Rufai also noted that it was time to invest aggressively in digitising government, private sector and the way things are done.

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