58th meeting: Agba lauds radiologists over role in health sector

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, has eulogised the Association of Radiologists in Nigeria (ARIN) over the protective role it is playing in the health sector.

Speaking Thursday in Abuja during the 58th annual general meeting of Association of Radiologist in West Africa (ARAWA), Agba said the association was able to put its best to save lives when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak in Nigeria and that they have continued to exhibit high professional standard in carrying out their tasks.

He said: “The objectives of your association to develop and maintain high quality standards for patient care, through continuous professional development and radiological education training and research in Nigeria, is commendable. The importance of your association’s role in knowledge sharing has increased significantly in the last few years with the technological advances in image transfer.

“This conference will afford you the opportunity to exchange ideas and views on modern ways and methodologies of the practice of radiology in particular and medicine in general. The Federal Government has put up measures to facilitate quick recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic both in the health and economic sector. The trajectory has started yielding positive result as we developed a stimulus of N2.3 trillion, including fiscal and monetary policies, sectoral interventions and social programmes.

“The fiscal and monetary policies supported states, businesses, households and individuals through grants, tax relief, payroll support, tariff reductions and direct support to health sector. The real sector interventions are focusing on mass agriculture, mass housing, public works, off-grid solar power installations and support to small businesses.

“A common feature of these interventions is that they will create a large number of jobs, empower farmers and entrepreneurs, use up to 100 per cent of local materials, conserve foreign exchange and have guaranteed offtake of outputs especially in agriculture and housing.”

The minister said that the Federal Government also invested N86 billion intervention fund for immediate response to COVID-19 to improve infrastructure in public tertiary health institutions and also procured personal protective equipment (PPE) for 52 federal medical centres and hospitals and establishment of 520-bed Intensive Care Units (ICU), 52 Molecular Laboratories with the capacity to carry out a minimum of 150 PCR test a day.

Agba said that his ministry had initiated development plan of 2021 to 2025 to guide government policies, programmes and projects as well as private sector operations from now till 2025, and that this would be inspired by Nigeria agenda 2050 as a long term vision, adding that the overarching objectives of the plan was to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years and also make a significant grow on the economy to outpace the increasing growth rate of the country’s population.

On his part, Chief Medical Director, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, Prof. Ahmed Hamidu, said that this was the first time the association was deploying technology to host a hybrid conference as the COVID-19 pandemic had changed the world world forever and had influenced the system of operation of radiologist.

He added that radiotherapy and oncology departments have been established within the country with the aim of improving the number of centres that offers cancer care and pledged that the association will continue to do its best for Nigerians.