It is not clear how much Nigeria’s taxpayers pay for their leaders’ treatments abroad.
Former first lady Patience Jonathan has claimed that half of US$31.5 million frozen in a corruption investigation was a government payout for medical bills she incurred in London in 2013. Ever-witty Nigerians took to social media to ask if she was buying eternal life. (Pictured, a public hospital in Nigeria).
The Ministry of Health estimated that Nigeria paid about US$1 billion for government officials traveling abroad for medical care in 2014, with ordinary Nigerians spending about US$6.3 billion in 2015 for what is called medical tourism.
Senior Nigerian officials get “high yearly allowances” for health care abroad which “provides them opportunity to demand amounts to take care of their non-health care needs like shopping abroad,” economist Vitalis Chi. Nwaneri wrote in his 2013 book “Governing the Ungovernable.”
AP, The Standard