The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, has eulogised the Association of Radiologists in Nigeria (ARIN) over the protective role it is playing in the health 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 said the association was able to put its best to save lives when the COVID-19 pandemic was at it peak killing Nigerians from all works of lives.
He noted that the main objective of the association was to develop and maintain high quality standards for patient care, saying members of the association had continued to exhibit high professional standard in carrying out this task.
“The objective of your association to develop and maintain high quality standards for patient care through continuous professional development and radiological education training and research in Nigeria 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,” Agba said.
The minister said the Federal Government had put up measures to facilitate quick recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic both in the health and economic sector, and that the trajectory had started yielding positive result.
He also said government developed a stimulus of N2.3 trillion and that the package consisted of fiscal and monetary policies, sectoral interventions and social programmes.
Agba further said 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.
He added the real sector interventions were focusing on mass agriculture, mass housing, public works, off-grid solar power installations and support to small businesses.
According to him, a common feature of these interventions is that they will create a large number of jobs, empower farmers and entrepreneurs, use up to 100 per cent of local materials, conserve foreign exchange and have guaranteed offtake of outputs especially in agriculture and housing.
The minister said government also invested N86 billion intervention fund for immediate response to COVID-19 to improve infrastructure in public tertiary health institutions.
Government, he added, also procured personal protective equipment (PPE) for 52 federal medical centres and hospitals, and established 520-bed intensive care units (ICU), 52 molecular laboratories with the capacity to carry out a minimum of 150 PCR test a day.
Agba disclosed that his ministry had initiated development plan of 2021 to 2025 to guide government policies, programmes and projects as well as private sector operations from now till 2025, and that this would be inspired by Nigeria Agenda 2050 as a long-term vision.
He said the overarching objectives of the plan was to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years and also make a significant growth on the economy to outpace the increasing growth rate of the country’s population.
Prof. Ahmed Hamidu, Chief Medical Director, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, stated that this was the first time the association was deploying technology to host a hybrid conference.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic had changed the world forever, and had influenced the system of operation of radiologists.
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 on behalf of the association to continue to do their best for the upliftment of the profession. (NAN)