Isaac Anumihe, Abuja

Federal Government yesterday said that it would spend 1 per cent of the entire consolidated revenue fund on healthcare this year, in compliance with the health act.

Making this disclosure in Abuja at the 50th Anniversary of Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, (CIPM), the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo explained that government is devoting as much attention on technology as on healthcare.

Already, he said, the government, for the first time, has moved up spending on healthcare by five times more than what it used to be in the previous years.

“In this year’s budget, for the first time, we are spending one per cent of the entire consolidated revenue fund on healthcare and that is in compliance with the health act,” he said.

“We have also moved up spending on healthcare by about five times what it used to be in the previous years. But we are still very far away from where we ought to be. We are focusing on national health insurance as a way to fund healthcare. A healthy people will be a kind of resource to the nation such as ours.”

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He expressed apprehension on the future of the country, which would soon become the third most populous nation in the world, saying that technology and the people are the most important parts of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP)

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“The most important plan in our ERGP is called investing in people”, the VP said. “That is the first major plan of our ERGP. Our focus is on human development. Our most important resort to the people of this nation is how to have a well-defined strategy and a well-defined plan.

Our plan, especially with respect to education and healthcare, is one that will stand a good deal of time working on and we have ensured that that is fully implemented.”

In this connection, Osinbajo said that the government has developed a human development plan known as STEAM (Sound Technology Engineering Acts and Map), which is focused on employability skills.

“We have the most important features of that human capital development plan: STEAM (sound technology engineering acts and map). The focus is on employability skills – from primary school all the way to tertiary education. The focus on primary and tertiary schools is on employability skills, especially, technology,” he emphasised.

STEAM, he said, would teach young people from primary schools and tertiary schools using writing skills.

“Our focus is on teaching young people from primary school or even pre-primary school on how to use the writing skills, software writing skills and others. The new technology that all of us are seeing today clearly shows us that anyone in the coming generation will be left behind if he is not at the cutting-edge of technology at least with the sound knowledge of technology.

And I believe that our educational system must incorporate that, which is why a lot of attention in the new curriculum is focused on sound technology engineering acts and map.”