By Samson Yaki

Abuja, as the Federal Capital City of Nigeria, arguably, one of the most endowed nations in the world in terms of both human and natural resources, is, ideally, supposed to be ahead of not only all African countries, but, most countries of the world by all standard, especially, infrastructurally and aesthetically; is regrettably, one of the most backward and unkempt.

The Federal Capital, right from Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, is supposed to be an embodiment of beauty, neatness, cleanliness, hospitable and tourist delight, or, simply put, one of the most liveable and aesthetically pleasing city, but, has, pathetically, become an eyesore.

A particular building that had for long given  Abuja this kind of repugnant feature is the Federal Ministry of Health – the very ministry that is supposed to be exemplary in terms of cleanliness, both internally and externally.

One truth about this unkempt ministry is that its two Ministers are among the best dressed and ‘always-looking-clean’, among all the Ministers of the Buhari administration. But, the building hosting them is something else, because it contradicts their outlook and physical appearance.

For over one year when Health Monitor started visiting the ministry, alongside others, to present complimentary  copies of its monthly publications to the office of the two Ministers, our team of reporters have long observed and bitterly complained that something was wrong in the ministry, because of its unkempt nature, especially, its environment.
Some staff of the ministry confided in our reporters that even though the present Ministers inherited the ministry in its present dilapidated condition, they were supposed to have long renovated it, especially given the fact that they came in with the slogan and physical spirit of ‘change’ and determination to right the wrongs of the past administrations, but they also chose to be indifferent or insensitive to the physical state of the ministry.

They lamented that, “instead of the Ministers to pay attention to improving and fixing the home front, they are busy criss crossing the country commissioning one project or the other in either this Teaching Hospital or that Medical Centre, with none, to commission in the ministry”.
Health Monitor team discovered with shock, as everyone was at home with the way the National Headquarters of all health institutions in the country housing the two heads of the institution, looked like.

As a matter of priority, given the present exigencies in the health sector all over the world, and as a matter of how the duo of the two ministers scamper around proclaiming and unending fight against COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, which required cleanliness as a first step, the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health needs to hoist a flag of cleanliness to portray a healthy nation ready to combat such diseases.

On the contrary, what one would see from the entrance of the Health House, is the unkempt structure with overgrown grasses, signifying abandonment of a deserted archaeological site ready for excavation.  Going through the car park, the passages, up to the ministers’ offices, one cannot find any healthy scenario that shows a true reflection of a health sector.

Compared to ministries like Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Finance, etc, which clearly appear to be what they are, Ministry of Health is a figment of an imagination, a misplacement of priority depicting the hallucinations that surrounds the nations’ health sector. If health is wealth, then Nigeria is nowhere near wealth given the obvious dwindling and fallacies that surround the health sector today.

Indeed, if Facial expression is the straightway to convey the message of the heart, with the obvious unkempt and unhealthy nature of the Federal Ministry of Health, the truth of the heart of the nation’s Health Sector needs no facial expression to decode its message.
We must therefore stand up and stand out to be true representations of ourselves starting from physical structures to policies and programmes, as well as our personnel.

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