Psychiatric nurses in Nigeria have said treasury looters have mental problems, because they may not need the billions of naira they loot from the public coffers afterall.
They said this in Abeokuta on Tuesday during the 2017 Annual Scientific Conference of the Association of Psychiatric Nurses of Nigeria.
The nurses spoke through the national President of National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Abdulrafiu Adeniji.
The NANNM boss who urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give maximum attention to mental health issues, said most of the people who steal public funds were suffering from mental illness.
Adeniji advocated more resources and attention to mental health in the country, noting that the sector had been neglected for long.
He said the number of mental health institutions was inadequate.
He said, “Government is not doing enough, if it is only in 2013 that we have Mental Health Act.
“There is no single unit or department in the Federal Ministry of Health that is for mental health.
“By this, we cannot say the government is doing enough. And when you count the number of psychiatric hospitals we have as against the physical ill-health hospitals we have in the country, it is very few. The same thing goes for human resources.
“That is why we need to call on government to do more in the area of training of manpower. Most of the corrupt politicians and civil servants that steal billions have mental problems, because how are they even going to spend such huge amount of money?”
Adeniji also supported the idea of subjecting those aspiring to occupy public offices to mental health screening, arguing that this would assist in determining those that were psychologically fit to administer the country.
The Chairman Ogun State Chapter of the Association of Psychiatric Nurses of Nigeria, Abiola Ogunniyi, called for measures aimed at reducing misconceptions and stigmatisation in the management of mental illness.
He lamented that majority of people were still ignorant of many facts about mental illness despite the level of civilisation.
He equally called on government to employ more mental health workers and subsidise mental health care in order to make it accessible to ordinary people.