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Kidney Centre: A Better ‘Nigeria @ 50’ Gift

Nigeria is a nation of jesters. It baffles me when we brazenly celebrate failure. Ghana celebrated 50 years of independence three years ago without much…

Nigeria is a nation of jesters. It baffles me when we brazenly celebrate failure. Ghana celebrated 50 years of independence three years ago without much fanfare. They had something to show for it, yet they did not go on spending spree like this. Now three years after, Ghana is gradually becoming a lesson in what good governance can earn you – from politics to economy and even to mundane aspects like football, the country is getting it right.

Now, Nigeria is 50. The state of things in the country is currently in its all-time low. Our politics is in shambles and economy hovering on the valley of death. Even in less serious aspects like sports, we continue to disgrace ourselves at the global scene.

Given this shabby situation we are in currently, rolling out drums to celebrate an anniversary is the last thing I expect a serious government to do. More surprising is the bogus amount set aside for the litany of unproductive events lined up for the anniversary.

Splashing 6 billion naira on independence anniversary is wanton display of profligacy in a country where thousands of people die on a daily basis due to lack of adequate healthcare facility. I read in papers almost on daily basis cases of poor parents begging for assistance in raising funds to finance the treatment of many Nigerians, especially children, suffering from renal diseases. This is why I am backing Aisha2’s suggestion. Kidney disease is now prevalent in Nigeria and due to the unaffordable cost of treatment many people have already died of the disease.

I am made to understand that there is no single kidney centre in Nigeria. Setting up one, equipped with modern facility, I learnt, costs about 500 million Naira. Putting up four in different parts of the country will cost 2 billion naira, just one-third of the amount about to go down the drain in the farce called Nigeria at 50 Anniversary.  This is a better gift for Nigerians, especially the children.

Aisha2’s suggestion was prompted by the story of the death of a brilliant boy, who died earlier that day. The boy, said to be the best physics and mathematics student in his school, died after three years efforts to raise 10 million naira for him to undergo treatment abroad proved fruitless. Within a couple of hours after the discussion was initiated, two other contributors narrated how they lost father and sibling respectively to kidney problem, underscoring the prevalence of the disease in our midst today.

Do we even need to remind our government of the importance of this? Having just lost our number one citizen to the disease, I am surprised the new government did not even deem it fit to look along that line. This is another wake-up call for Jonathan’s government.

Suraj Oyewale, 2, Ajose Adeogun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

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