Nigeria: Focus Is 'Economic Development', Not 'Economic Growth' - Presidential Candidate Moghalu

15 February 2019

In response to a question about achieving such health goals as reducing high death rates from pregnancy and childbirth and from malaria, Nigerian Presidential candidate Kingsley Moghalu said this:

I am going to prioritize social infrastructure, and that is to say education and healthcare, because I recognize that these are the two foundations for effective economic development.

I'm going to move away from a focus on economic growth toa  focus on economic development, which I understand the distinction between the two of them. And so I'm going to be more interested in economic development and economic transformation. For healthcare., we are going to reform the primary health care system in the country, working with state governments and local governments.

You know, there are several tiers in the Nigerian constitutional structure, but the important thing is to set targets for reducing maternal and child mortality and making sure that those targets are met. The reason those targets are not being met in Nigeria is just because of lack of effective governance strategy from the federal government especially. So the first thing I would do as president is to set up an office of national strategy in my office - a national office of risk management, a performance management office and a human capital development office.

So when you set up this architecture, we can then set targets for reducing child mortality and basically improving dramatically primary healthcare and immunizations. We will also of course fight cultural attitudes, with effective communication - cultural attitudes that prevent participation, full participation in immunizations across different parts of the country.

We will work to reduce any challenges of corruption.

The problem in Nigeria is just a problem of organization and execution. Always there are very good plans, but the discipline of execution is lacking. So setting up my government from the get-go in such a manner that the discipline of execution is assured is the most important path to reducing child mortality in Nigeria.

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