Plateau NMA calls for permanent solutions to naira, fuel scarcity

By Golok Nanmwa,Jos

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Plateau State Chapter on Friday called on the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Government to proffer permanent solutions to the naira and fuel scarcity crises in the country.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by Dr Bapigaan Audu, the state
Chairman of the association and Dr Lukden Mawun Stephen the Secretary and made available to newsmen in Jos .

NMA stressed that having watched
the unfolding developments within the polity over the past few weeks with keen interest,they are compelled to issue this statement regarding the scarcity of Petrol as well as the implementation of the Cash Swap Policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria and their impacts on the health of Nigerians.

According to the NMA in Plateau ” We call on the Government to be reminded that no policy should bring this much suffering no matter how well intentioned; and wish to seize this avenue to advise importantly,that conception/implementation of policies be done with a human face,bearing in mind the possible attendant consequences likely to emanate from such a policy such that measures are put in place to at best prevent these scarcity or at the very least,cushion their effects on the lives of citizens and the economy of our nation.

That statement reads that the ” Plateau State Branch of our association is deeply concerned and shares in the untold hardship and anguish that citizens have been and continue to be subjected to due to the now perennial problem of fuel scarcity,as well as the recent chaos surrounding the implementation of the Cash Swap policy by the apex bank.

The Association further added that “It however acknowledge and commend the intervention of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari towards easing some of these occasioned pains and call for speedy implementation of these measures especially those that have to do with enforcement and regulation.”

They added that ” The needless torment been visited upon citizens have resulted largely from poor planning and staggered implementation which have come to define most Government policies in Nigeria;and the apparent never-ending shortage of petrol has seemed to defy any government intervention.”

“This unavailability of petrol has continued to subject doctors,hospitals and citizens to needless loss of man hours spent on fuel queues often ending in futility or with purchase at very exorbitant rates,in addition to the physical and mental exertion that often accompany such.”

“That subjecting citizens to these psychological and physical turmoil in itself has the potential of leading to an upward surge in mental health illnesses (as well as physical injuries) arising from the despair,gloom and uncertainty which currently pervade the nation.

Further impoverishing an already poor population places great hinderance to access to, and payment for health services, further worsening the already troubling health statistics in a nation where health expenditure is still largely made out of pocket.This is clearly shameful and unacceptable for a nation of Nigeria’s stature and age.

That some of these insensitive and confusing policies are serving as further push factors driving doctors and other health care professionals out of Nigeria to other climes,worsening the already appalling doctor to patient ratio.

Furthermore,these policies have also exposed the unsuspecting public to the unpatriotic greed of some elements within our society always desperate to cash in on the misfortunes and sufferings of fellow citizens who have used this opportunity to visit more hardship on the public.

That though we appreciate the good intentions behind the cash swap policy,poor implementation and regulation have made ordinary Nigerians who the policy was meant to protect,suffer while the opulent political class continue with life with reports of huge sums of the new currency already being stacked by certain unpatriotic individuals to be used for the purpose of vote buying/manipulation.

“We urge our members to not only continue caring for their patients but to be mindful of their own healths(especially mental health)and that of their loved ones during this period;while we call on citizens to be law abiding despite the pains of the day.”

The Statement further called on government at all levels to ensure adherence of the financial institutions to making the new notes available to Nigerians so as to prevent the already very bad situation from getting any worse.

The NMA also called on it’s members to come out en masse and vote for the right candidates during the forthcoming 2023 General elections .

They added that Persons with the integrity and drive to navigate Plateau and indeed Nigeria away from the present day challenges to a future of prosperity and stability is what is needed ,they stressed .

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Plateau NMA calls for permanent solutions to naira, fuel scarcity

About The Author
- Studied Mass Communication from the University of Jos. He is a Media Consultant, Journalist, a blogger, public relations practitioner and an advocate for social justice.