Embracing the Saintly Minister(s) for Nigerian Health Sector

On 05/Oct/2015 / In Articles

The world is already familiar with the process of attaining Sainthood in the Catholic Church (at least starting from Priesthood to beatification then Canonization). A new version of the concept is however being introduced into the Nigerian Public office (being a major reason for the national vigil and head-hunting the thirty six or so persons, out of the millions available!), to form the Federal cabinet. While recognizing the similarity in the expected impact on the people they (Beneficiaries) served, there is However a fundamental difference in that the former is conferred on individuals after their death, on the contrary, the latter is conferred on living Recipients. Having waited for the first leg of the Nigerian process, the next phase of waiting will naturally be that of assigning Portfolios, to be followed by the period of actions, before their canonization!

While I agree that Impatience is not a virtue, I am also reminded from the Holy Book that, “A hope deferred maketh the Soul weak”, and of all the National Human capital development sectors, the Health sub-sector is one that Nigerians have had their patience being tried the most; Rather than giving any hope of a reprieve, it is tending more into despair!  Flowing from this therefore, I wish to run my imagination wild while waiting for the Blessed Minister(s) of Health to resume duty.

The Health sector is one of the critical areas which this administration will want to leverage on in an attempt to create a quick connect with the Citizenry. This then presupposes that the person coming to carry the Portfolio need to possess certain traits that can help in achieving this goal. The sector also has an unenviable record of having the worst case of Industrial unrest within the critical areas of our National life in recent time. As at present the labor situation in the sector can either be described as a Graveyard silence or a Rumble in the jungle depending on individual perception of the sector.

Gloomy as this may appear for whosoever is coming to mount the saddle of this crisis weary sector, the following may be considered as part of the Journey Kit for the Voyage. First, the individual(s) must be someone with a very strong character. Such that can almost be unassailable by the sheer force of activities that may be confronted-which may sometimes appear to be totally unrelated but yet impact the sector either positively or negatively depending on how they are handled. Secondly, the person(s) must be a Result-oriented fellow and not activity-oriented. S/he must be clear on what is to be achieved as a sector within the larger picture of our socioeconomic evolution. In doing this, all identified Strategic plans, which have been severally and repeatedly brought to the fore, but which seem to have defied successful implementation, should be vigorously pursued. This time, with a desire for results within a time frame, any known systemic clog that has hitherto held back on the achievement of these goals should be quickly dispensed with, as there is really no time to waste! The result-orientation must trickle down the hierarchy of the sector in such a way that will consume every player within it.

Lastly, to deal with the hydra-headed Labor disaster, the Minister(s) must, completely be without any form of Prejudice. This will help in pulling off the next quality of having the ability to build trust among players; The Sector is grossly deficient in this. It is a Paradox of sort, in a Sector where the Citizens have Impersonal Trust in seeking help for their wellbeing!. To make any reasonable impact in the sector, the earlier mentioned qualities must be brought to bear in dealing with the emergency that it has become. In addition to these, fairness and firmness must be the driving principles of the Minister, and having equal respect for all the stakeholders.

In conclusion, I have deliberately left out the issue of corruption. Taking it for granted that this was used as the key consideration for the first hurdle, but suffice it to state here and for emphasis sake, that the Minister(s) must be devoid of all forms of this Malaise, which the Nation is trying to recover from. I can assure the Person(s) coming in, that, if these attributes are well mixed, the final road to the Nigerian styled Public- life Sainthood will definitely be safely navigated and arrival at Sainthood is assured. Otherwise, the Person(s) will have no choice but to either join the already stereotyped band of Failures in Public Offices.

Welcome Honorable Minister(s)!      

Femi Awotunde


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