Opanuga calls for national health care system audit and strategic measures to save industry and jobs post- pandemic.

Opanuga calls for national health care system audit and strategic measures to save industry and jobs post- pandemic.

“On the front burner of our national discussion presently is how to solve the problem of coronavirus pandemic especially COVID-19 but we need to think strategically and plan for Nigeria post- pandemic” remarked Dr Olaniyi Opanuga, the President/ Chairman of Council of Nigerian Institute of Production Management (NIPM) and Provost/ Dean of Studies, College of Production & Operations Management( COPOM).


” The impact of the lockdown in not only in the Federal Capital Territory, ( FTC) Abuja but also in Lagos and Ogun States where most industries in the country operate is enormous and will have far reaching effects as production and man hour losses are huge with industrial capacity utilisation at almost level zero . This will have ripple effects on national productivity, supply chains and employment. Manufacturing will not be the same again in the country if this lockdown takes too long to be over .That another round of economic recession will occasion grave consequences including business failures and job losses is to state the obvious” he said.


“Not every nation in the world has contemplated lock down and not every nation hit by the pandemic has adopted this approach. Our own circumstances may have compelled us to do so …and this I must confess is proactive but what I have observed is that the purpose of the lockdown is being defeated through reckless abuse of the order by some members of the political class, the exuberant oligarchs, the careless or uninformed citizens and those who pull crowds at the risk of possible transmission on the alter of sharing relief items to the people. So, social distancing rule is violated and the dire consequences is better imagined.


“Apparently, we are wasting massive production capacities, productivity and a good share of local and global markets everyday and our people are getting poorer ,sick and tired with the possibility that a lot of people may die from accidents and other cases due to COVID-19 jitters, panic measures, hunger, poor nutrition, stress and poverty. At the end of the day people will be dying from starvation, accidents, and diseases other than the so much dreaded Covid-19. Criminality will be on the rise while some powerful cabals will be benefiting from the lockdown. Billions of naira have been collected as donations both from within and outside the country to cushion the impact on the people and it is not too early to say that the public must rise up and demand for accountability. Otherwise, the money will be diverted into private pockets. We see what are being distributed across the country and we know that government has done far less than private individuals and NGOs. The masses are suffering and crying .People are dying not even due to coronavirus but as I said earlier, poverty!



” Definitely, this disease plaguing the world has come and it will go like any other of its ilk in history. Let’s not harp on the theories ( conspiracy or not) of Biblical endtime antichrist, Wuhan being China’s sacrificial lamb to fight global economic leadership war with America and the world and so on. Rather than promoting imaginations, allusions, sensations and hypes which the manufacturers of the innovative vaccines now undergoing clinical -efficacy and safety trials will capitalize upon to boost brand equity we should not relent but focus on serious public education and enforcement of preventive measures ” he said.


” Nations that had envisioned things like this are battle ready .Rather than taking panic measures they have simply fostered optimal health outcomes. What’s happening to our medical research institutions and medical schools in our Universities? What are our teaching hospitals up to ? Where are the medical experts on virology, immunology, epidemiology, pharmacology,genetic engineering,biochemistry, biophamarcy,biotechnology, others and not forgetting the traditional medicine experts?


The Federal Government should be planning to provide relief packages for industries in the locked down states and the FCT. It may come in the form of tax holidays or some form of relief packages to support producers, especially manufacturers who are hardest hit. This will help in saving jobs thereby reducing the impact of the ongoing pandemic on the nation’s economy.


To stem the tide and build on the current efforts to curtail the spread of the deadly virus so that things can go back to normal or as they say – flatten the curve , let us leverage the best therapeutic practices globally and learn from the recorded success stories of countries like South Korea, Canada and Taiwan in terms of response strategies.


The Government should learn from the current situation by evaluating its weaklinks, governance philosophy and leadership style, define, audit, fix, scale-up and strengthen our health care delivery system at all levels- primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary.


“Our political leaders should learn that running abroad with their families for medical solutions shows they have failed Nigeria”, Opanuga asserted.

” I have a gory tale to tell and shocking experience at that about the death of my mother at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) on the 28th September 2019 due to arrant professional negligence,inefficiency and incompetence of patient-hostile, service- disoriented hospital administrators,medical doctors, nurses and other staff who operate in a very unhygienic environment with poor facilities”,he added.


By now the Federal Government should have prepared for the worst scenario not just sit idle and count the numbers but upscaling our medical facilities and supplies,intensifying biosecurity checks everywhere especially our borders and air/seaports, enforcing social distancing, admonishing on hygiene and kitting the citizens with quality masks etc.while we await abatement and efficacious and safe vaccines. But wouldn’t it have been so glorious for the nation if we find the cure and produce the needed vaccine in Nigeria? Is it impossible?
” For how long shall we continue to wallow in the vicious circle of unbridled, voracious consumption rather than being self reliant and produce what we need locally to save foreign exchange and protect our national integrity?” he asked.


“Again, lockdown can’t be effective without public compliance starting from the leadership as some notable politicians refused to be quarantined . And, let me say that lockdown is not the only solution. Yes, it is expedient but we can do better. We lock down for a short while and look for other ways out fast before public disobedience and violence erupts”








# Dr. Olaniyi Opanuga is the President and Chairman of Council, Nigerian Institute of Production Management ( NIPM) and Provost/ Dean of Studies, College of Production & Operations Management ( COPOM).


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