The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday advocated compulsory health insurance scheme for citizens to enable all to access quality and affordable health care services.
He advocated this at the “Civic Innovation Lab: Launch-pad for social innovators’’ in Abuja.
Osinbajo noted that the present National Health Insurance Scheme although useful, was unable to pull resources together to cater for the health needs of others not yet enrolled.
He said that government was investing in education and health care and had supported states with N1.91 trillion.
He, however, added that while such sector funding lay in the states only a functional and all-embracing national health insurance scheme could provide adequate health care for citizens.
The Vice President also advocated that undergraduates should be exposed to internships in government administration to enable them to acquire the experience for future leadership roles.
He also said it was difficult to find role models in governance but said there was the need for the nation to agree on a set of values which could direct the course of governance.
He said that one thing the nation needed to get right was integrity as with integrity more than 50 per cent of the nation’s problems would have gone.
According to him, the nation is endowed with enormous resources and creativity which could be harnessed for the country’s good with leadership that had integrity.
The Vice President noted that people went into politics with the notion to use it to make money by stealing adding that by and large such objective affected everything, including political judgment.
He stated that most of the problems in the country centered on corruption due to lack of integrity and called for change of attitude.
Osinbajo said: “If 70 per cent of our resources went into where they were supposed we would not be where we are today.’’
He added that no society could survive on the greed and theft of others.
He said: “Integrity pays and is the only thing that works for progress.”
He stated that those who could be trusted were more easily open to having business deals with others adding that integrity was a business issue rather than a moral issue.
He said: “I think that many people understands that Nigerians are one of the most creative people in the world; many people know that we have one of the best minds but people are worried when it comes to integrity issues.”
Osinbajo stated that the most difficult lesson he learnt since becoming the Vice President was that it was difficult to get things done in the our environment.
He said: “I think there is a huge gap in a stated objective and getting it done’’ and the reason for that is because we are not paid on timelines, efficiency or productivity in a positive sense.
He noted that the people who work around him, being young people, had brought in more efficiency than others.
Osinbajo admitted that youth employability was a major challenge but the problems had to do with the kind of training people got.
According to him, many suffer the double jeopardy of the training being inadequate as well as advanced technology including the artificial intelligence that had taken away a lot of jobs.
He described the scenario as complicating but added that the advantage the youth had was that technology could help much in unraveling the problem.
He said that the government’s N-Power was basically to engage graduates without jobs and to train them in employability task skills.
He said: “The best type of investment we can make is to push people to that kind of training in spite of your academic qualification.’’
He said there was the need to change the way of teaching in institutions to embrace creative reasoning, collaboration, the use of technology and others.
He noted that there were few platforms for people to interact with government adding that the civic lab was an excellent example of bringing people with innovations that had social relevance to have link with the government.
He said that government had interest in the Civic hub to also find out how to resolve problems in the system.
He said that the administration recently organized the Aso Villa Demo Day as an innovation challenge for the youth adding that another one involving students across the country had begun.
Osinbajo stated that besides, government would open innovation hubs in six Nigerian universities beginning with the University of Lagos, to enhance creativity in partnership with the private sector.
He added that an innovation hub existed in Yola, Adamawa, aimed at solving the humanitarian challenges in the North East.
Osinbajo advised the youth to focus on self-development and strong values noting that with that they could stem the mediocrity seen in government.
He advised the youth to deemphasize tribe or religion as such things did not help to develop the country in any way noting that agreeing on certain values would offer mentorship to the youth.
The Vice President said that effort should be made to educate the young people adding that it was also the highest investment the youth could make on others.