Rivers State Deputy Governor Dr. Mrs Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has identified poor health, infrastructure, food security and poor economic indices are some of the factors responsible for the low life expectancy in Nigeria.
Dr. Banigo disclosed this while speaking virtually at an event to mark the second anniversary of antibiotic manufacturers, ST. RACHEAL’S Pharmaceutical in Lagos on Thursday.
The Deputy Governor, who spoke on the theme “Improving Life Expectancy in Nigeria.’’ Highlighted factors responsible for the short life span of most Nigerians.
According to Dr. Banigo, statistics by the United Nation’s Population Fund show that Nigeria has the 3rd lowest life expectancy rate in the world, stressing that life expectancy is 55 years for men and 56 years for women.
The Deputy Governor said “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”, noting that inequitable distribution of income has wiped out the middle class in our society.
Dr. Banigo further stated that “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”.
She also identified 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 as factors that adds to our low rate of life expectancy.
She expressed the need for urgent multi sectorial collaboration to improve life expectancy and standard of living.
“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. Dr. Banigo stressed.
Rivers State Deputy Governor further said “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,’ Dr. Banigo quipped.
In his welcome address, the Chairman/CEO of ST. RACHEAL’S Pharmaceuticals, Mr. Akinjide Adeosun who said his organization commenced a 20- year journey into living our purpose on the continent of Africa starting from Nigeria two years ago, thanked everyone who had contributed to the success of the company since its inception in 2018.
“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”. He further stressed.