Good Welfare System Will Cut Down Corruption – Expert


The Chairman, Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), Federal Medical Center, Abuja, Dr Okafo Nwachukwu Chikezie, has said that good Welfare system for Nigerians, particularly retirees will cut down corruption drastically.

Chikezie, who stated this while briefing Newsmen during a medical outreach at the Amazing Grace Foundation, Old People’s Home, as part of activities to mark the 7th Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Association, said that it is most unfortunate that our system has remained what it was, if not worse.

In his words, “It is unfortunate it has become a common thing that prior to the National Pension Commission (PenCom), after service it becomes an issue for many civil servants to receive their gratuity, we are talking about people who have worked yet the system doesn’t cater for them, not to talk about those who hadn’t the opportunity of being in the civil or public service.

“In more developed countries, they have social welfare systems where even young people who get pregnant out of wedlock are given stipends not to talk of older people who have paid their dues.

“They have Elder People’s homes where they attend to them in very comfortable manner, that feel like a home away from home. It is as a result of lack of such welfare system that encouraged corruption.

“We have people who want to make money for the next coming four generations because there is no welfare system in this country. If there is, corruption will reduce by half or more,” he said.

Speaking on the Association, Dr Chikezie said that members are a group of employees primarily concerned with protecting their welfare by meeting regularly and also involved in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

He also said that as part of activities to mark the year, the Association embarked on the Free Medical Outreach for the elderly as well as engaged in sports and training activities for its members among others

Reacting to questions on following up on patients, Chikezie noted that during their interactive session, they were made to know that there was a regular doctor who has been attending to their cases for about six years.

According to him; “From the Association, we are also going to chart out a pattern in which we can have somebody come weekly from amongst our almost 80 members strength.

“For those with chronic illness, we may select and aid in their treatments because at these ages, there may be chronic diseases requiring long time management.

“Test carried out on the patients include Vital Signs, Blood Pressure, Blood Sugar among other minor tests”.

The Federal Medical Center, Abuja is the youngest in the country as it was launched 2014 and finally took off in 2016 with 18 members gradually transforming to its 80 members strength.

In his response to the visit by the association, the Founder of Amazing Grace Foundation, Chief Ifeyinwa Obegolu, said she felt very good about the visit, noting that their support had always come from good spirited individuals including International Organisations, Faith Based Organisations (FBOs), as well as good spirited individuals among others.

She said after over a decade of their activities at the home, the Nigerian government had yet to acknowledge and support the home and her inmates.

Chief Obegolu said that the Foundation’s greatest challenge remain lack of finance and inadequate accommodations saying; “If the government can intervene and help us, it will go a long way. Over 60 persons are constantly in need of the facility but we cannot afford to accommodate them all.

“We are not talking of the rich but the poor elderly, people who cannot feed themselves or even afford a meal a day, the poor who have no one, those picked from the streets, those abandoned and those brought by various religious organisations are our targets, these are the people we are talking about that need government intervention.

“I am so happy because every medical bill I pay myself but today they have come to our aid and we are very happy,” she said.

One of the beneficiaries, who preferred to be called ‘Mama America’ said the home was recommended to them all the way from America where she had stayed with her children.

She however noted that the home lacked lots of basic things and called on the government and other spirited individuals to come to their aid and support the home. Services offered in the home include food, medical attention and care.

An admin at the home, Mrs Caroline Abel said the home over the period caters for over 800 persons drawn from the aged, the less privileged and victims of domestic violence among others.

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