Why Nigerians don’t live long– Rivers deputy governor

The Deputy Governor of Rivers, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo, says poor health, infrastructure, food security and poor economic indices are some of the factors responsible for the low life expectancy in Nigeria.

Banigo made the remarks at an event to mark the second anniversary of antibiotic manufacturers, ST. RACHEAL’S Pharmaceutical in Lagos on Thursday.

She spoke virtually on the theme “Improving Life Expectancy in Nigeria’’.

The deputy governor, listing some of the several factors responsible for the short life span of most Nigerians, said: “Statistics by the United Nation’s Population Fund show that Nigeria has the 3rd lowest life expectancy rate in the world.

“It is at 55 years for men and 56 years for women.

“We have social problems, infrastructure problems, poor and inadequate potable safe water supply, poor states of our roads, poor housing and rental challenges, amidst other economic variables.

“Inequitable distribution of income has wiped out the middle class in our society.

“This has also added to the high level of unemployment, a lot of stress, ranging from students schools fees, house rent, electricity bills, medical bills, generators and parts repairs, powering and fueling, feeding the family and clothing of families.

“Also is the huge numbers of demands, siblings’ demands, vigilante bills, work stress, police stress on the road, variable stress, fears of kidnappers and armed robbery attacks.

“All these are adding to our low rate of life expectancy,’’ she said.

Banigo, however, recommended that for Nigeria to raise the people’s standard of living and improve on its life expectancy, there must be an urgent collaboration with all sectors.

“To have a way forward from the current abysmal level, stakeholders and experts in the different field must team up to address the challenges.

“Our government has a critical role to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive and ensure the sustainability of the ease of doing business in all sectors of our economy.

“It must address the numerous challenges breaking the health sector in terms of facility, equipment, manpower and also curtail preventable and avoidable diseases.

“Also, the government needs to improve on budgetary allocations to the health sector and take measures to control population growth.

“A situation where we have a population growth increase which is higher than our GDP is not sustainable. Hence we need to educate our people and educate the women on birth control.”

She added that the media was also very key to changing the narrative.

“They are the ones that will bring this into the public discourse all the time.

“To keep the issues of unacceptable low life expectancy in our country in the front burner, the media should disseminate at all times, quality and relevant information to equip the people.

“Also, they should interrogate the activities of government and the service providers in taking appropriate actions to improve the leaving standards for the purpose,’’ the Rivers deputy governor said.

Also, Mr. Patrick Amaechi, a former Director and General Manager, Human Resources and Organisation, Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited, offered some tips on how Nigerians can live to a ripe old age.

Amaechi, 75-year-old, spoke virtually from London.

He narrated his experience and said that living healthier could be achieved through discipline, knowledge about diets and regular check-ups.

“We are what we eat. It is important to find out what kind of food is good for us as individuals and what exercises that are appropriate so for us with moderations,” Amaechi advised.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman/CEO of ST. RACHEAL’S Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Akinjide Adeosun thanked everyone who had contributed to the huge success of the company since it commenced business in 2018.

“Two years ago, we commenced a 20- year journey into living our purpose on the continent of Africa starting from Nigeria.

“This journey will see us launch into many markets on the continent, expand our offering from our core base of Antibiotics into brands that will supplement Life & brands that will prevent diseases.

“These are our tri-growth strategies. Everything is planned with eyes on our Vision –“To eradicate diseases in Africa”.

“As we scale, we will build local manufacturing factories, we will list on the local and international stock exchanges,’’ Adeosun said.

It was reported that a major highlight of the ceremony was the launch of ST. RACHEAL’S new brand of antibiotic, ST.RACHEAL’S Ampicillin/Cloxacillin 500mg Capsules 2×10, the first single pack size in Nigeria.

Also, there was the presentation of the ST. RACHEAL’S Pharma’s 2020 Leadership Excellence Awards to the CEOs of Reddington Hospital, Lagos, Dr. Adeyemi Onabowale; HealthPlus Pharmacy Nigeria, Mrs. Bukky George and Prime Medical Consultants, Port Harcourt, Dr. Franca Ikimalo. 

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