• Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Doctors seeking greener pastures overseas will boost diaspora remittances – EDHA Deputy Speaker

Doctors seeking greener pastures overseas will boost diaspora remittances – EDHA Deputy Speaker

Maria Edeko, deputy speaker, Edo State House of Assembly, has said that the non-restriction of medical doctors from seeking greener pastures overseas would boost the nation’s diaspora remittances.

Edeko, representing Esan North-East constituency II in the 8th Edo Assembly, made the remark when the Association of Resident Doctors, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, (UBTH) branch paid her a courtesy visit in Benin City.

The Federal Government Diaspora home remittances in 2022 stood at US$ 21.9 billion through official channels over four times the value of the country’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

According to her, “I was very worried the other time they were proposing a law to restrain doctors from going abroad. There is nothing wrong with the migration of medical personnel and other professionals to seek greener pastures in foreign countries.

Read also: Five reasons why medical doctors are leaving Nigeria

“Earnings from the diaspora would be good for the growth of the nation’s economy. What we should do is establish different schools of nursing, medical schools and other skill acquisition centres that are well-funded with the best resource persons to teach our children.

“Strengthen our institutions and treat our doctors and nurses well and after which, those that will stay back to work in Nigeria will stay while those that want to leave can leave.

“They would be highly priced abroad and they would bring back foreign earnings from the diaspora which to me will be good for the growth of our economy.

“Nigeria will be known for exporting qualified manpower, medical doctors, nurses and others, we have the population,” she said.

She, however, lamented that years after the discovery of crude oil, the country still exports raw materials just as it did when agriculture was the mainstay of the economy.

Read also: ‘Japa’: Bill seeking to lock in doctors draws criticism

The lawmaker, who also decried as worrisome the inability of the country to refine cocoa, groundnuts and crude oil, advised that Nigerians with requisite skills and technological know-how should not be prevented from seeking greener pastures overseas.

The Deputy Speaker also described as unacceptable the move to stop parents from sending their children abroad to work after they had spent a lot of money to train them.

Earlier, David Orhewere, president, National Association of Resident Doctors, University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) said the visit was to inform the deputy speaker of the 46th anniversary of the association in the state.

Orhewere listed various activities lined up for the anniversary including awards and free medical outreach to be extended to the constituency of the deputy speaker in Uromi, among others.