By Lucky Isibor
A bill for an act prohibiting public officials from seeking medical attention overseas has gone through second reading in the House of Representatives and now going through fine tuning at the committee level for final passage.
The member representing Esan South-East/Esan North-East Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Sergius Ogun made this known to his constituents at a ceremony to mark his 55th birthday put together by some members of his constituency Sunday, 13th May in his home town of Ugboha, in Esan South-East Local Government Area of Edo state.
Hon Ogun pointed out that Nigeria has become a laughing stock in the comity of Nations as a result of the enormous resources expended annually by government officials in seeking medical attention abroad assuring that the bill which he sponsored is tailored towards addressing the anomaly.
“We have become the laughing stock in the world because of medical tourism.
“The bill is aimed at ensuring that no government official travels outside the country to seek medical treatment.
“What that bill seeks to cure is that those who are writing the budget, those that are passing the budget, those that assent to the budget, when they are not well be prohibited from going overseas for medical treatment.
“If they go overseas for treatment, how are they ever going to put enough in the budget to cater to the health needs of the people? So, we either swim together or we drawn together”, Hon Ogun said.
On the attack on chairman Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, for calling for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari for withdrawing money from the Federation Account for the purchase of twelve Tucano fighter jets without appropriation from the National Assembly, Hon Ogun said the attack was uncalled for describing it as crude and uncivilized.
He said Hon Kingsley Chinda who is the chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts also moved the motion in the House of Representatives, calling for the impeachment of the president for the same reason.
Berating the president for failure to seek the approval of the National Assembly before making payments for the fighter jets, Hon Ogun said, “we were offered those jets in November 2017, we had three months to do that, we paid in February 2018, and then you didn’t deem it fit to get authorization from the National Assembly, where you should get it, then two months after the payment you now wrote to the National Assembly.
“It’s not done anywhere in the world, even the United States that sold the jets to you have to seek for permission from Congress to sell; not to take money, but to sell.
“I think the executive will still say something about it, otherwise the matter is still far from over”.
On why he decided to celebrate his birthday in his country home at Ugboha, Hon Ogun said the party was put together by a team of young men and women in his constituency who believe in what he’s doing.
While pointing out that he is always at home ministering to the needs of his people, Hon Ogun said he has a passion to develop his community and Esanland in general.
Highpoint of the event was the cutting of the 55th birthday cake by Hon Ogun flanked by his wife and some members of his constituency.