“Politicians build flyovers for showoff” – Ex-minister laments neglect of education, health

Former Health Minister Isaac Adewole has criticized Nigerian politicians for prioritizing the construction of flyovers and other infrastructure projects over crucial investments in human capital development such as education and healthcare.

Speaking on “Inside Sources”, a socio-political program aired on Channels Television, Adewole lamented the undue emphasis on infrastructure projects, which he described as attempts to create visible legacies rather than addressing fundamental societal needs.

Adewole, who also served as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, highlighted the imbalance in political strategies that favour infrastructure over essential services.

He said: “Politicians often build flyovers and extensive road networks for showoff, to have something tangible to point to at the end of their tenure.

“While infrastructure is important, it should not come at the expense of investing in education and healthcare, which are critical for the long-term development of our country.”

The former minister reiterated the significant returns on investment in human capital, noting that education and healthcare have profound impacts on societal well-being.

His words: “Investing $1 in immunization can yield returns between $18 and $44, and anti-tuberculosis programs can yield up to $70.

“Education, in particular, dramatically lowers maternal mortality rates and addresses multi-dimensional poverty.”

Adewole expressed frustration over the reluctance of state governors to prioritize healthcare delivery, pointing out that many prefer to compete with federal institutions by establishing teaching hospitals instead of focusing on functional district-level hospitals.

He urged politicians to adopt a more balanced approach to development, ensuring that infrastructure projects are matched by significant investments in human resources.

The former minister also called for greater autonomy for local councils and supported the call for restructuring to enable states to grow independently in areas such as power generation.

“I am an apostle of fiscal and physical federalism,” he stated, while advocating for policies that allow states to manage their resources and develop according to their unique needs.

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