Osinbajo tasks academics on reforms in healthcare, tertiary education

By SHARON O. ISAALAH, Head, Science, Technology and Health Desk

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has expressed the need for professors and academics to take keen interest, especially in issues of education and healthcare, exploring options for reform and innovation in human capital development sectors.

This was the highlight of the virtual meeting on Friday between Osinbajo and a team of professors drawn from the six geopolitical zones, under the auspices of Progressive Intellectuals Advisory Group (PIAG). The Vice President, who interacted with the dons on a number of topical national development issues, urged stakeholders, especially members of professional bodies, to make contributions towards addressing them.

Discussing tertiary education, for instance, Osinbajo said: “Given the rate of interest in tertiary education, we cannot cope with the brick-and-mortar approach. We won’t be able to cope with the numbers in the near future because there will be millions more who will not be able to get into our schools.

“One of the things I have been thinking about is how to be deliberate about online tertiary education and how to develop it to the point where Nigeria offers the best services in the sector. “One of the things I want us to think about is how we can develop this idea, and in what ways we can put together a plan, even if it is just an outline, so that we can push the idea further.”

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Also, the Vice President called on members of the group to support the Federal Government’s efforts to reform the healthcare system by contributing to ideas that will make health insurance work effectively in the country, even as he noted that a Health Reform Committee is already in place looking at issues.

Leader of the group and Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, National Open University of Nigeria, Prof. Shehu Adamu, also spoke about the need for Nigeria to strengthen the Open and Distance Learning (ODL) option to address the issue of access to university education. In separate remarks, Professors Nasiru Yauri, Philip Okolo, Ernest Ugbejeh and Yahaya Baba commended Osinbajo’s dedication to development of Nigeria and style of leadership, according to a statement made available to newsmen, yesterday.

The group, which supported Osinbajo’s run for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), described his loss as a missed opportunity, pledging to work for the Vice President in his future aspirations, and promising to maintain the relationship regardless of the outcome of the APC shadow election.

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