The contradictions of Abuja


There is a huge project going on in Abuja at the moment. The beatiful trees that lined both sides of the motorway from the airport to the city in Abuja have been mowed down. The plan is to expand the current 4 lane express way into a 10 lane super express! The cost, quoting the FCT Minister; Senator Aliero is N224.5 million as reported by The Independent. For such important projects – we do not waste time in Nigeria. All hands are on deck! Equipment has been mobilised to the site….Julius Berger of course. Only the best is good enough for our federal capital.

Yes….this is the project that led to an uproar in Nigeria when it was approved by our beloved Senate. Try as hard as Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) tried, he could not convince his colleagues, that it did not make sence to cut the budgets for health and education for a project to massage our egos…..but there you go.

Below are pictures of the Utako General Hospital in our Federal Capital City, over grown by weeds, inhabited by our non-human friends.

My thesis – until we put health back on the political agenda, nothing will change…nothing

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

Discussion2 Comments

  1. This does not surprise me one bit.Most of the decision makers in Nigeria – Ministers, Senators can afford private health care for their families and if it is a serious health condition will fly abroad for treatment so what do we expect.This is also the same stand taken with education…..Their children can affort to go to private schools so where is the need to improve these basic amenities that a country like Nigeria should have at our disposal. It is very unfortunate that the voices of reason will be a minority and will never be heard. But how long can this go on?

  2. In my part of the world, when a person laughs for too long in the face of absurdities, we do not conclude that the person is happy. We query the person’s sanity.

    Alas those who do not understand think that Nigerians are the happiest people on earth…

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