– Buhari says Nigeria has lapses but his government is working to correct them
– He appreciate the efforts of a team led by Dr. Seth Berkley who are in the country to improve the nation’s health sector
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that lapses that have characterized Nigeria as a nation would be corrected.
This was contained in a statement by Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the president.
Speaking after he welcomed a team led by Dr. Seth Berkley, chief executive officer of Gavi and The Global Fund to the State House, Abuja on Thursday, July 28, President Buhari said he was impressed with the patience and steadfastness of leading supporters of health care in Nigeria, “despite our shortcomings as a nation.”
He said: “We are making genuine efforts to correct the lapses. We are very serious about people behaving themselves, and being accountable.
“We thank you for deciding to re-engage with us, despite our inefficiencies. You decided to be here, not minding our shortcomings. There are other countries that would bring less problems. We appreciate your commitment, and we will do our best to put ourselves in the best shape to help us.”
Dr Berkley, who noted that the three focal points of the Buhari administration; security, economic development, and anti-corruption were critical to the future of Nigeria, had raised issues over the way donor funds for health care were utilized in the past.
He said Gavi and the Global Fund were disappointed when forensic audit revealed systemic weaknesses and corruption in the utilization of funds given in the past, adding that there is now a “breath of fresh air” under President Buhari’s leadership and fight against corruption and they were willing to “close the books of the past, and look into future support.”
On his part, Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, disclosed that those indicted in the audit of the donor funds in the past, which was done between 2010 and 2015, had already been questioned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and would be arraigned in court soon.
President Buhari had earlier said Nigeria is managing to survive following the current economic downturn , largely caused by the fall in the international price of oil.
This comes even as the president disclosed that the nation is in a hurry to see projects take off in the agricultural sector, in order to enhance food security and create jobs for teeming unemployed youths.