As the Chairman OGHA House Committee on Health, my attention has been drawn to a social media article in which it was stated that an injustice was metted on Health Officers in the Ogun State Ministry of Health & Hospital Management Board, as regards their hazard remuneration payayble for combating the COVID-19 pandemic. These are officers of the State who at their personal perils have risked it all to nip the pandemic in the bud.

Expectedly, I initiated communications with the two (2) Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry on fact finding mission. I also contacted the amiable and indefatigable Commissioner for Health, Dr Tomi Coker whom i know couldn’t have acceded to such injustice owing to her professional exposure to International Best Practices. The trio re-assured me that the purported injustice will be looked into and rectified accordingly.

In our discussion, i pointed to the fact that the problem Nigeria is facing in the area of insurgency is because the Nigerian Army who are the frontline officers in keeping territorial integrity are poorly equipped and badly motivated hence the low morale & capacity for victory.

I must indeed commend our hardworking Governor, His Excellency, Prince Dr. Dapo Abiodun MFR who has been working assiduously since his assumption to duty to re-position the Ogun State Health Sector into world standard. It is undeniable that all the three (3) Senatorial districts have benefited largely from his Health Initiatives. We must also appreciate His Excellency for equipping all Isolation Centres across the State which is an indication that the State Leadership has a swift & rapid response time to emergencies. It is indeed remarkable that the first of it’s kind Walk-in & Drive-through Testing Centre, was built in Ota, Ogun State by our performing Governor. The facility was specifically built in Ota which is the boundary between Ogun & Lagos States because we have the highest number of comfirmed Covid-19 cases in that axis.

The article also stated that the Ogun State Health workers are susceptible to professional risk of life because there is no Life Insurance Scheme for them in comparison to Lagos where such is in existence with juicy remunueration packages. You will recollect that in my Open letter to Governor Dapo Abiodun, i stated inter alia that we cannot compare Ogun to Lagos in terms of financial stability so everyone should bear with that. Notwithstanding, the lives of all citizens of Ogun State is very important to His Excellency. There is an existing law on Life Insurance policy in Ogun State. It is regrettable that the citizens didn’t want to participate in or subscribe to this scheme as a result of their bitter experience with cooperatives deductions under the immediate past administration.

However, the OGHA is currently doing an amendment to that law so that it will be effective and secure. This effort is in synergy with His Excellency, the Attorney-General of the State and the Hon. Commissioner for Health. The amendment ensures that no one, not even Mr Governor can make use of the money for any other purpose asides the Health Insurance Scheme. This is to enhance the confidence, suitability & reliability of the scheme.

The Amended Bill has been sent to the Ogun State House of Assembly for ratification before the lockdown came into existence. I must emphasise that the scheme is not only for civil servants but for all the citizens of Ogun State. Mr Governor has agreed to give his express assent as a lover of the people. Money will no longer be a barrier to access good healthcare system in our State just as it is happening in other developed countries where our leaders run for respite before COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Nelson Mandela said “a time shall come where the white man’s country will no longer be safe for African Leaders to travel to, they will be forced to stay and make a positive change for Africans” The novel coronavirus has just made that possible.

Conclusively, permit me to give kudos to the Ogun State COVID-19 team led by Dr. Mrs Tomi Coker for their impressive coordination and irrepressible passion to combat the Pandemic in our dear State. The last time I was invited by the Honourable Commissioner for Health to join them in the Conference Hall at EoC meeting to delibrate on all the reports gathered across Ogun State, i was very much impressed and assurred that the Ogun State health sector is in safe and experienced hands.

Building Our Future Together is a collective effort. I enjoin everyone to contribute their quota whether as an individual, private sector, elected/appointed Political Officer Holder and irrespective of our political affiliations in taking Ogun State and our Nation to the Best and not just the Next Level.

Nobody knows what will come after COVID-19 so our advocacy should not be about the Next Level but always pray for the Best Level.

Our Governor will say Igbega Ipinle Ogun, ajose gbogbo wa ni.

Awoso the voice for the voiceless.

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