Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labor and Employment, who has presided over unemployment rising to its highest level since 2014 (7 million Nigerians to 20 million today out of work), was on Channels tv lighting fires about the brain drain in the medical sector.
When asked about the number of Medical Doctors leaving Nigeria for greener pastures, the Minister said the following they were free to go because Nigeria has surplus. The shocking quote is below:
“I’m not worried. We have surplus Doctors. If we have a surplus, we export. I was taught biology and Chemistry by Indian Teachers in my Secondary School days.
They are surplus in their country. We have a surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. It is my area. We have excess. We have enough. More than enough. Quote me.”
It’s one thing to see someone put their foot in their mouth by accident. It’s another to see them deliberately put salt and ketchup on the foot before inserting it into their mouth and chewing with a smile.
Per the World Health Organization, Nigeria should have a Doctor/Patient ratio of 1:600. So if our total population is 180 million, we should have 300,000 practicing medical doctors. The current ratio is estimated to be 1:3,500 which means we only have 51,428 doctors. Keep in mind, we don’t know what our actual population is. So if we’re 190m or 200 million people, then we have even less Doctors to provide medical care for our population.
Where the Minister is getting his information is anyone’s guess. Perhaps the same place that inspired “You work with figures, I work with facts” from the President? The Nigerian Medical Association, the National Association of Resident Doctors, the Socio-Economic Right and Accountability Project and human rights groups have all come out to condemn his comments. Video below: