An expert in healthcare, Dr Ola Brown has said that Nigeria’s economic challenges can be solved through strategic ongoing investments in the healthcare sector.
Dr Ola, who is the Founder, Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company said Nigeria’s economic challenges can be solved through strategic ongoing investments in the healthcare sector. explained that investing in healthcare would serve as a multiplier effect that would boost the economy, create jobs and contribute to overall development.
Brown stated this at the 2022 Nigeria Healthwatch Conference tagged “The Political Economy of Health: Investing in the Future of Nigeria”, according to a statement on Wednesday.
According to her, When we invest in healthcare, we are not just investing in healthcare but in the economy. The largest employer of skilled labour in the entire world is the NHS in the UK.
She added that if Nigeria is able to invest in a sector that has massive job creation potential, the country will be able to solve both the security and unemployment challenges.
While highlighting the four key reasons why young Nigerians are relocating from the country with their families, Dr Ola Brown, whose company invests in technology-enabled healthcare businesses, fintech startups as well as public-private partnerships in healthcare infrastructure projects in Africa, opined that it is possible to address those concerns through sustained investments in the healthcare sector.
“In my interaction with people travelling out of the country in recent times, they mentioned some reasons for their decision to relocate, chief among which are: Nigeria does not have the necessary healthcare facilities to take care of their families in a medical emergency and so they are scared; the level of insecurity and constant news of kidnappings in the country; lack of opportunities exemplified by the over 36% unemployment rate in the country; and macro-economic indices like high inflation rate, currency instability and high-interest rates.
“The UK’s National Health Service was created by an economist to help solve Britain’s economic problem so that British people could become more productive. So, when we invest in healthcare, we are not just investing in healthcare but in the economy. The largest employer of skilled labour in the entire world is the NHS in the UK.
“The reason I link healthcare to both security and employment is that if you have a job, you won’t go and join Boko Haram since you won’t be idle. If Nigeria is able to invest in a sector that has massive job creation potential then we will be able to solve both the security problem and the unemployment problem.
“For many developed countries, 2020 showed that what the world thought was a global supply chain was actually a Chinese supply chain. The West is now looking to diversify its sources of raw materials and medicine security which presents an opportunity Nigeria can take advantage of.
“Because we lack forex, when we manufacture and then export, we are able to generate more foreign currency. If we are able to do more Public-Private Partnerships projects (PPP), that improves investment and stimulates other sectors of the economy,” Dr Brown, who was recently honoured as a Member of the Federal Republic honour, said.