By Oluwatope Lawanson
The Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, says medical colleges in Nigeria must develop the capacity to train more doctors to bridge the brain drain gap in the sector.
Hamzat spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday while reacting to the issue of the brain drain of medical experts in Nigeria.
He said since many medical practitioners had decided to leave Nigeria for other developed countries, it had become necessary for Nigeria to increase its capacity to produce more doctors to serve the nation.
The deputy governor said that human migration was inevitable, adding that people moved around the world all the time.
“Human migration is normal. People would leave, and people would come. But as a country, we can train more doctors.
“I am not against the brain drain of medical doctors, but what we need is to create a pipeline to train more doctors instead of complaining that medical personnel are leaving the country.
“If we train 5,000 doctors yearly, let us increase the numbers to 15,000, by doing so, the country benefits.”
Hamzat said the government could not stop people from going wherever they wanted to go.
According to him, in 2022, 197 Americans threw away their passports and became Singaporeans, so people will continue to move around the world.
“The Nigerian government should rather, look for a way to benefit from the countries our doctors are moving to.
“For example, if 1,000 doctors go to the United Kingdom, the UK Government must pay us something back in return.
“Therefore, our medical colleges need to increase their capacity by training more people.”
On Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led second term administration, Hamzat said that the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the first tenure would continue.
The acronym stands for :Transportation and Traffic Management; Health and Environment; Education and Technology; Making Lagos State a 21st Century Megacity, Entertainment and Tourism; and Security and Governance.
He said the ‘Plus’ added to the agenda for the second term was to enhance more social inclusion.
“There are many people that we need to lift out of poverty.
“We need to make sure that people can at least run a business no matter how small, based on their skills, and interests.
Hamzat said the administration would also focus on youth engagement, and gender equality, adding that they would try to access women in the rural areas.
“It is necessary that we bring them in and elevate everyone so that they can be part of the Lagos Agenda.” (NAN)