Ndidi Elumelu, the Minority leader in the House of Representatives has said that the importation of Chinese doctors into Nigeria will be against the national interests of the country.
Mr Elumelu, who spoke on behalf of the Minority Caucus of the House of Representatives, asked the federal government to immediately rescind the decision.
POLITICS NIGERIA learned that the Federal government had concluded plans to bring in 18 Chinese doctors to assist local health professionals in the fight against coronavirus. A Presidential aide, Tolu Ogunlesi also confirmed this.
More so, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Mamora met with the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila and a few members of the House leadership to convince them on the importance of the visit by the Chinese.
It was concluded at the meeting that doctors must be quarantined for 14 days amid other immigration protocols upon arrival to Nigeria.
Recall that the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) had earlier kicked against the government’s plans, saying its a disservice to the nation and embarrassment to its health workers.
However, via a statement of Tuesday, Elumelu cautioned that the invitation of the personnel from the epicenter of the dreaded disease will expose the nation to further danger.
The lawmakers noted that Nigerian doctors and nurses are doing well so far in managing the scourge, and expressed fears that “bringing in Chinese medical personnel, whose status, intentions and scope cannot be easily ascertained and controlled is totally against our national interest”
Elumelu in the statement added that the Federal Government should note the apprehensions of Nigerians and professional bodies including the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) over the decision.
“This is particularly after alleged escalated of the pandemic in certain countries after Chinese doctors were reportedly involved, in addition to widespread trepidations over the safety of medical equipment and kits from China at this point in time,” he emphasised.
The Minority leader further explained that “at such critical time, the safety and wellbeing of our citizens must be paramount and anything that is capable of further jeopardizing their lives must be avoided.”