‘Coronavirus is a blessing in disguise’ – Cardinal Okogie

April 5, 2020
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Former Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, on Saturday described the Coronavirus crisis as a blessing in disguise for Nigeria.

The COVID-19 outbreak, according to him, has underlined the need for the quality of leadership in the country to improve.

“Thanks to our country’s constitution dubbed federal, government in Nigeria is embarrassingly big, sinfully expensive, prone to corruption, and scandalously inefficient,” he said in a statement in Lagos.

“Nigeria cannot adequately invest in the sectors of health and education because, among other reasons, the constitution of Nigeria has established offices that will require an endless flow of petrol-dollars to maintain.

“By the time low-grade leadership combines with big government and the seemingly irresistible tendency to steal and or waste Nigeria’s money, you find a country whose hospitals are reduced to mere consultation rooms. It is therefore insufficient for our legislators to forfeit their salaries for two months, as they have offered. It is also unsatisfactory for Senators to donate half of their salaries to tackle COVID-19.

“The humongous basic salaries and allowances of our political office holders should become a thing of the past. The money should be used to establish a regime of high-quality medical service delivery. COVID-19 has revealed to us that if we do not do something positive about our hospitals in Nigeria, if we do not invest our money in medical research, we shall one day find ourselves in a situation where we cannot even board a flight out of Nigeria to go on medical tourism. Let us make hay while the sun shines.”

Okogie made afresh case for restructuring in Nigeria and said: “if we continue to run the affairs of our country with a constitution that impoverishes and disables the citizens by establishing offices that do not serve the people, then we would not have learnt good lessons from this pandemic.

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