By Aderogba George
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, has commended the Association of Radiologists in Nigeria (ARIN) for their professional role in the healthcare sector.
The minister gave the commendation in Abuja on Thursday at the 4th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Scientific Conference, as well as the 58th AGM of Association of Radiologists in West Africa (ARAWA).
The minister particularly commended the association for putting up their best to save lives when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its peak in Nigeria.
He lauded the members for upholding the objectives of the association, which is developing and maintaining high quality standards for patients care.
“I want to appreciate you for exhibiting high professional standards in carrying out this task, as part of the objectives of your association.
“You lived up to the expectation through continuous professional development and radiological education training and research in Nigeria, this 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 minister said.
He said that the Federal Government had put up measures to facilitate quick recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, both on the health and economic sectors, which is already yielding positive result.
He said the Federal Government had developed a stimulus of N2.3 trillion, consisting of fiscal and monetary policies, sectoral interventions and social programmes.
Agba disclosed that 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, according to the minister, are focusing on mass agriculture, housing, public works, off-grid solar power installations and support to small businesses.
According to him, a common feature of these interventions is to create a large number of jobs, empower farmers and entrepreneurs and use up to 100 per cent of local materials.
It is also to conserve foreign exchange and also guarantee offtake of outputs, especially in agriculture and housing.
The minister said that the Federal Government also invested N86 billion to improve infrastructure in public tertiary health institutions.
He said that the Federal Government also procured Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for 52 federal medical centres and hospitals, and established 520-bed Intensive Care Units (ICUs).
Others are 52 molecular laboratories with the capacity to carry out a minimum of 150 PCR test a day.
Agba said that his ministry had initiated a 2021to 2025 development plan to guide government policies, programmes and projects, as well as private sector operations.
He said that the overarching objectives of the plan was to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
The plan would also make a significant in the growth in the economy, to outpace the country’s population growth rate.
Prof. Ahmed Hamidu, the Chief Medical Director, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, said this was the first time the association was deploying technology to host a hybrid conference.
He said that the COVID-19 pandemic had changed the world forever and had influenced the way radiologists operate.
He added that radiotherapy and oncology departments have been established within the country with the aim of improving the number of centres that offer cancer care.
He, however, pledged that the association would continue to do its best to uplift the profession. (NAN)