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Special Report

Amaechi, Opposition, Dev Challenges

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When the Supreme Court in Abuja, on October 25, 2007, restored the mandate given to Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as its candidate for the April 14, 2007, general elections, and the glorious choice of the party’s flag-bearer by Rivers people at the polls, which heralded his election as governor of Rivers State, millions of Rivers people, residents and Nigerians across the isles, applauded the verdict, as victory for democracy, rule of law, and indeed, the hapless people of the state. To justify this position, the governor quickly swung into action, on assumption of office on October 26, 2007, and initiated a number of sustainable development projects and programmes aimed at impacting positively on the people, who had long been deprived of good governance and the dividends of democracy.

As the Supreme Court ruled in Amaechi’s favour, and blurted Sir Celestine Omehia’s name in the governance template of the state, most of the opposition political parties, rose to the occasion, and indicated their support for the new administration of Chibuike Amaechi. These opposition supporters of the administration saw in Amaechi, God’s divine intervention to salvage the destiny of the state, and reposition the state to retake its pride of place as Nigeria’s Treasure Base and Garden City. They quickly joined to form a Unity Government of Rivers State that brings people from all sheds of political leanings to chart a crystal course for, and give a new meaning to the state.

But while the administration was battling to settle down to the business of honest, selfless and people-oriented governance, some few individuals in the opposition political parties, moved to thwart what God has ordained. They quickly went to the courts to halt the PDP and Governor Amaechi from making progress and deliver the goods to Rivers people. But each step they take, God leads Amaechi to take two steps ahead. Thus, at the lower court, Amaechi dusted them. Now, at the Appeal Court last Wednesday, the so-called Bekinbo Soberekon case was struck out by the learned judges for lack of merit. Aside this Soberekon distraction, the deluge of resistance from those who oppose the administration’s development policies and programmes, the huge impact of long years of militancy and underdevelopment-induced violence, also weighed heavily on the ability of the government to deliver on its promises to the people.

However, even as Amaechi faced these and many more challenges, the administration continued on a roller-coaster ride on the ladder of accomplishments in good governance. In fact, in the past 30 months, Amaechi has achieved unprecedented milestones in his development strides. In the areas of healthcare, education and road infrastructures development and upgrade, the administration has continued to move the state to a new pedestal in development. Let’s take a cursory look at some of these development milestones in the annals of Rivers history.

In spite of these distractions, within the 30-month period, Governor Amaechi has overcome and fulfilled his promises to the good people of the state on his desire to deliver sustainable development projects that would further add impetus to their lives. One of these was realized when he institutionalized an integrated security strategy for the restoration of peace to the state. By cooperating and working in synergy with the security agencies, the Joint Military Task Force successfully quelled cult-related violence, militancy and criminality that permeated the state, and restored peace to the people. This success has had spiraling positive effects on other sectors of the economy.

The administration also implemented a wide range of programmes to further the interest of the state. One of the areas of interest is the public-private partnership framework aimed at incorporating the private sector as a driving force in the development of the economy. In this area, the government had succeeded in drawing the private sector closer to the people by partnering them in the areas of transport infrastructure development and both land and water transportation, health and education, financial management and fight against corruption, road infrastructure development, culture and tourism promotion, among others.

Now, the government’s drive to ensure adequate electricity supply in the state has resulted in the completion of the 100megawatts Trans Amadi Gas Turbine upgrade at the end of 2009. Work has been completed on the new transmitter to evacuate the power from the Trans Amadi Gas Turbine Station through the Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s main substation at Rumuobiakani.

The government has also concluded plans with Saipem to build 180megawatts-power facility that should come on stream by 2011. The government is already working hard to repair the failed turbines at the Omoku station while awaiting the delivery of 75megawatts electricity to be generated from the Eleme gas turbine station. With all the projects now ongoing, the government plans to deliver some 250megawatts of electricity to Rivers people by the end of 2010, and hopes to double that figure by 2011.

The government also began the process of electrifying more than 500 communities through its rural electrification programme. In fact, the government called for and received tenders, opened the bids, and has gone far into the process for the award of the contracts. Besides, some ongoing rural electrification jobs have continued to be funded while more transmission lines and networks are being constructed to enable the penetration of all communities in the state with electricity supply.

Even as the court cases persisted, Amaechi continued efforts to reclaim massive land for development purposes, especially in difficult, swampy terrains. More than five land reclamation projects in five communities, including the N1.57billion Egbormung/Oluk-Ama, the N3.58billion Opobo new layout dredging, and the N562million Buguma shore protection, have progressed to advanced stages of completion. The N1.68billion Queenstown reclamation and the N1.72billion canalization of Abonnema Wharf – Eagle Island, were awarded in 2009. In fact, the new land area reclaimed for Opobo people is far larger than the initial land space inhabited by the people. In perspective, about N9.112billion was invested into land reclamation projects in 2009, with most of them at advanced stages of completion.

In the roads sector, the government has delivered some 240kilometre of roads in swaps, and about three bridges. The 240km roads increase the number of roads completed by the administration to 550km. In all, about 33 rural roads were completed in the 23 local government areas, out of about 40 awarded by the government. Two road dualisation projects and one flyover project were completed in Obio/Akpor, bringing the total number of roads completed already to 35.

Between October, 2007 and now, more 170 road contracts were awarded, with between 30 – 50 per cent mobilization paid to the contractors. The 170 road contracts are expected to add some 700km of paved roads, to the existing 1,000km of paved roads in the state, when completed. In addition, there are 30 bridges and four flyover contracts awarded within the same period.

Statistics show that in the 23 local government areas of the state, the administration completed the 5.35km Bori Polytechnic/Zaakpom road, the 4km Babbe-Eeeken-Kaa road, the 8.8km Omunwa/Elele road, the 1.6km Rivoc road in Trans Amadi, the 19.8km Elele internal road network as well as the 4km Elele Army Barracks internal road in 2009. The state government also completed the 2.5km Wikabari Street, another 2.5km TTC road as well as the 1.03km Court road, all in Bori; the 545m Ibe Street in Elekahia, the 1.874km Nkarahia/Alimini/Isiokpo road, the 4.2km Rumuoparaeli road, and the 6.5km East-West-Sogho-Okwale road.

Others include the 7.2km Mogho-Bomu-Kporo waterside road, the 1.24km Oga-Imo Street,the 3km Ogbunabali internal roads, the 1.7km Eligbolo road, the 2km Elelenwo School Road, and the 6.5km Oro Ekpo/Odoli/Owabie road and Chinda Street. The rest are the 8.7km roads in Woji cutting across 11 streets, including Rumuibekwe-Elijiji-Ilom-Eze Gbakagbaka, Okechukwu, Ihunwo, Abel and Ogbatai. The other road projects completed by the state government in 2009 are the 10.96km Elele-Obele road, the 750m Tombia Street extension rehabilitation, the 3km Ada George-Obi Wali-East West road bypass, and the 5.9km Rukpokwu – Tam David-West – Aluu road.

The government also completed the 1.2km IBB road, the 5km Ubima internal roads, 2.5km COHISA – East West bypass road, the 3.2km FGTC – Immigration road, the 1.7km Civil Defence – Abuja bypass road, the 5km Rumuaghalu – Tam David-West bypass, the 14km Eberi – Umuechere road and the Kings International School road. Two bridges: the Ebukuma Bridge 3 in Andoni and the Nkoro Bridge 5 in Opbo/Nkoro were also completed in 2009. Indeed, 30 bridges have been awarded, some of which have been completed while others are at various stages of completion.

Two of the most expensive road projects are the 42km Omagwa-Elele-Omerelu dualisation at a cost of N21.5billion and the 13km Prof Tam David-West – Ada George roads dualisation, stretching from Mile Three through NTA, with a flyover across East West Road to Omagwa-Airport road, at a cost of N14.5billion. The first phase of this project, from NTA – Omagwa Aiport Road, has 26km of drains and manhole at intervals and a 400m long bridge at Obiri Ikwerre by East West Road. The flyover alone cost N4.5billion while the 13km road costs N10billion.

While most of the road dualisation projects are within Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas, some 70 per cent of all 700km road contracts are located in the rural communities. There are about 10 road dualisation projects going on at the same time in the state, and four flyover projects, the largest already completed at Eleme Junction, and another, at Eliozu Junction.

Apart from the major road construction works embarked upon, the government also invested more than N4billion into the rehabilitation and maintenance of existing roads within Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas, in a programme tagged: “Operation Zero Pot-Holes”. The programme, managed by the Rivers State Road Maintenance Agency (RSRMA), was supervised by the state Ministry of Works.

Conservatively, all the road and land reclamation projects awarded between October, 2007, and now, are valued at more than N214,367,330,462.20. However, there were also some road projects, initiated by the previous administration but had to be funded by this administration. These projects are worth some N70billion. Even at the government grappled with the court cases, it also strived to settle outstanding debts amounting to N100billion for some of the ongoing road projects. The government has allocated some N70billion to the works sector in the 2010 budget. In all, the administration has virtually turned the state to a huge construction site in the drive to enhance the development momentum of the state.

In the education sector, the government has continued work on the 23 model secondary schools and 250 model primary schools in the 23 local government areas of the state. The government plans to up the number of new model primary schools of 14-classroom each in various communities in the 23 local government areas to 750 by 2011. Out of the 250, about 120 have been completed. while the 100 addition this year have already commenced.

By the end of 2009, the Rivers State Government said it would spend some N27billion on the model primary schools and N90billion on the model secondary schools. In actual sense, the model primary schools would cost government about N28.999billion, with 43 valued at N117million and 214 valued at N112million, respectively. Most of the completed model primary schools have been furnished, some are awaiting furnishing, supply and installation of all necessary equipment, including computers, desks and chairs, among others, while others are at various stages of completion.

On the other hand, the model secondary schools would cost the government some N70.610billion, at a flat rate of N3.070billion each. Seven of these schools are being executed under public-private partnership (PPP) framework. Work has gone advanced stages on most. However, the government plans to construct, at least, 46 model secondary schools before the end of its tenure in 2011. Work on the new Rivers State University of Science and Technology, with a 60,000-capacity hostel, has gathered momentum as part of the first phase of the Greater Port Harcourt City development strategy.

In the health sector, the government has completed more than 70, out of the 150 new health centres, being constructed across the 23 local government areas of the state. The government also employed 150 medical doctors for the health centres to ensure that each facility gets, at least, one doctor to attend to patients. Some of the health centres are already functioning while others are awaiting furnishing and installation of equipment.

It further completed three secondary health facilities, including the New Kelsey Harrison Hospital on Emenike Street in Diobu, the new Dental and Maxillo Facial Hospital at Garrison, costing about N400million each, and a 500-bed hospital at the present site of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), Nkpolu, all in Port Harcourt. The secondary health facilities are now bracing for furnishing and installation of equipment. The government also commenced work on the Adolphus Karibi-Whyte Specialist Hospital in the Greater Port Harcourt City area, and had cleared the site for the Chief Alfred K. Horsfall Hospital, near the newly completed Dental and Maxillo Facial Hospital.

In fact, the health sector is one area that has given the state government’s development agenda a new fillip. The litany of health centres being built across the local government areas, means that the number of patients flocking around each of the facilities for attention would now reduce. This would give the doctors ample opportunity and time to attend to each patient according to their needs, and speedily address the health needs of the people of the state. If for nothing else, the completion of more than 120 health centres is a giant stride.

In the commerce and industry sector, the government has completed phase one of the N2.6billion Rumuwoji Market in Mile One. This first phase has 933 shops. It also has water pumps and a fire station, security posts, toilets, parking lots, a clinic, water hydrants and hose reels, as well as offices for the unions, and the facility management team. The market is further constructed with in-built fire-proof roofing system and other state-of-the-art construction components. Now, the completed stalls and shops are waiting to be allocated to those who would put them to viable uses. On completion, the entire market would provide 2,000 shops for small and medium traders and businessmen, and push the windows of business in the state to another level.

The government further started work on the N3.0197billion new Port Harcourt Town Market. The market has modern facilities such as 292 open shops, 736 lock-up shops, water hydrants, two water pumps and a fire station, including 96 hose reels for every block for fire fighting, four banks, a clinic, 32 toilets and 700 parking lots. The market is billed to be delivered to the government this year.

Pabod Breweries and West African Glass Industry Limited on Trans Amadi, Delta Rubber Company in Okomoko, Etche, Risonpalm Limited at Ubima, and a host of other industrial concerns where the government has significant interest also received a boost.

The government scored high marks in the area of culture and tourism development and promotion in the state. For instance, it successfully hosted the second Miss ECOWAS Beauty Pageant, the ION International Film Festival, and one of the best CARNIRIV events in Port Harcourt, as well as participated and won the first prize in the 2009 Abuja Carnival.

The public-private partnership (PPP) template also made some fine statements on the seriousness of the Rivers State Government to involve the private as the driving force of development of the state. The successful incorporation of the private sector in the designing and funding of the Port Harcourt Ring Road is one of the success stories of the administration. Other areas include the winning of the hearts of some private sector players in funding roads, model secondary schools, the Zenith Bank-built information and communication technology centre near the Nigerian Air Force Base in Port Harcourt, now completed, among other people-oriented development projects in the state.

Now, with issue of court cases taking the back-stage, the government would be more vigorous and focused in addressing the many challenges of governing the state. It is hoped that all Rivers people would face reality, and rally round the administration to succeed. This is because 2010 and the years ahead present better prospects for improved performance in delivering democracy dividends to the people of the state.

Amaechi now needs more thoughtfulness, thoroughness, toughness, decisiveness, and uncompromising approach to governance, transparency and utmost frugality in the expenditure of public resources to succeed. The government also needs to show that it can closely monitor and ensure compliance by contractors to projects’ specifications, and delivery timelines. Now, the coast is cleared. The distractions are gone like a smoke screen, and sustainable development can take increasing shape in Rivers State.

Nelson Chukwudi

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Special Report

Eze Ogba @80: A Salute To Greatness

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Critics and admirers fondly refer to him variously and severally as amiable, charismatic, blunt, visionary, an inspirational and committed King, a philosopher King, a philanthropist, an orator and motivator, a man of truth, perception and action, a defender of the oppressed, a versatile and courageous monarch. Indeed, there is no denying the fact that he has lived up to the billings.
This perhaps explains why many have sometimes misunderstood His Eminence, Sir (Dr) Chukumela Nnam Obi II, the Oba (Eze Ogba) of Ogbaland, who turns 80 today. And if we are to believe the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson that “to be great is to be misunderstood,” the Oba truly deserves a golden place in the pantheon of greats.
A consummate monarch imbued with congenital aura that shines like neon light, the Eze Ogba superintends the grassroots consciousness of his kingdom with mercurial audacity and clinical precision, and bestrides Nigeria’s traditional landscape like a magnificent colossus.
A man of capacious intellect with deft navigational capability, Sir Nnam Obi II possesses a conservative charm which accommodates all divergent opinions, even as it is difficult for his critics to dislodge his position on matters of public or political interest.
Nevertheless, the attestation to the greatness of this first class citizen and traditional ruler is underlined impressively by his array of honours and appointments since ascending the ancient Oba (Eze Ogba) throne on December 19, 1970, upon the death in April that year of Oba Wokoma Obi.
He has been an Officer of the Order Of the Niger (OON), Distinguished Service Star of Rivers State (DSSRS), Justice of Peace (JP), Grand Patron, Nigeria Union of Journalists; Knight Grand Commander of the Mystical Order of St Peter; Doctor of Letters (D. Litt), Los Angeles, California; Doctor of Technology, and First Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, (1980-84); Doctor of Science (D.Sc) and Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Akure, 1992-2000; Fellow, Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku; Chairman, Rivers State Conference of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs, 1972-79; member, International Committee on Chieftaincy and Royalty for FESTAC (Nigeria’s representative), 1974-77; Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, 1994-96; pioneer National President, Traditional Rulers of Oil Mineral Producing Communities of Nigeria (TROMPCON), 1994-2000; member, National Council on Nigerian Vision (NCNV), 1996-99; member and Elder Statesman, National Political Reform Conference (NPRC), 2004; Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, 2007-2009 and a lot more.
Since his ascendance to the sacred throne of Eze Ogba over 49 years ago, the light of Sir Nnam Obi II’s wisdom has continued to shine to the admiration of his people and others across the globe. The Ogba people have continued to preserve their loyalty to the sacred monarch as various group pay him solidarity visits in support of his visionary and dynamic leadership and efforts at bringing peace to the kingdom. No doubt, the Eze Ogba belongs to that class of mortals whom the legendary classical playwright, Williams Shakespeare said achieved greatness.
Yet, appraising Oba Nnam Obi II’s resume, evokes an intriguing paradox as his road to greatness was not without bumps and potholes.
Born by remarkable intervention of destiny on November 20, 1940 into the royal family of Umueze-Ogba kindred of Ogba at the foot of the great Opowu shrine of Ahiakwo Nwaozegbe, a sacred temple of worship by the Ogba people, Oba Nnam Obi II had a rather poor and humble background as things were extremely difficult for him.
Infact, the claws of poverty and the drudgery of hard labour were so much that it got to a point where the young Chukumela prayed for death to no avail.
Disappointed that his prayer was not answered, the young ruler-to-be went to his father’s grave and asked: “why did you bring me to the world and ran away.” But these travails, rather than discourage him, toughened and made him have patience, despite being orphaned on both sides and colonized by the insensitive nature of man as exemplified in his brothers who made him a total stranger.
Resilient and determined, and perhaps edged in by his destiny, the young Chukumela, relying on sheer force of will-power and self-support, paved his way through primary and secondary education.
On countless times, he dug sand at Omoku River, fished at the River Niger to make ends meet. Even at a point in his life, he was a newspaper vendor in Kano.
Undeterred by his condition, he excelled in academics at Sancta Maria High School, Omoku where he was a pioneer student. His excellent leadership qualities were identified quite erly as he was at various times labour prefect and senior prefect.
It was for this reason that his school principal then, Rev Fr. G.B. Kilbride wrote in his testimonial that: “Chukumela Obi is a very remarkable boy who is being groomed by the fate of great suffering into a great office.”
However, owing to what the Eze Ogba himself described as barriers of life, he finished secondary education at the age of 26 in 1966. He explains: “Some people were born without certain hurdles. But whether hurdles come early or later in life, I have learnt my lessons. They are all one and the same. The God who occasioned both hurdles did not intend to punish anybody. He intended them for experience. We must learn these experiences. We have come here (this world) to learn.”
Even at that, he does not wish anyone, whether his children or even his detractors, that kind of experience as, according to him, they may not have the patience and ability to cope with it.
Oba cautions that in life nobody should be boastful or be deterred by the situation he finds himself as God is the excellent judge who knows it all, and can deprive man of his needs and wants at a particular time just to observe him.
According to the monarch, provided one does not do things that are wrong in the sight of God, time would come when He would exalt the poor. To him, everyone should strive assiduously to explore situations and even opportunities opened to him in life as an individual with a view to destroying impediments to self-actualization.
It is irrefragable that Oba’s humble beginning epitomizes the parable of perseverance and triumph over the vicissitudes of life. As the Curator of the Ancient Mystical Order of the Rose and Cross (AMORC), Spencer Lewis, once put it: “there is no destiny, no fate, no change, that can circonvent nor hinder, nor control the firm resolve of a determined soul”.
Today, he is unarguably one of the few bright stars in the throbbing firmament of Nigeria’s traditional institution.
Pondering the meaning of life and his place in the cosmos as a mystic and traditionalist, the Eze Ogba has been living in the service of his people, confronting the resultant challenges therein and bringing integrity, straight forwardness, and serene peace into the governance of Ogba Kingdom.
It is perhaps as a measure of the magnitude and influence of Oba’s existential excellence, charming personality, and unique traditional inheritance that successive administrations in Nigeria have always sought his wise counsel, especially at every critical moment of the nation’s life.
Married to four wives with several children, most of whom are holding their own in their various callings, Oba proudly says loud and clear that he is happier than many who are married to one wife. He maintains that such persons have more problems than himself, adding that anybody who visits his palace would not know that he is married to four wives.
Albeit, he abhors autocracy, he is a very strict disciplinarian who takes full charge of his palace at all times with his word as law.
At his usual morning devotions, Oba, a Knight of the Mystical Order of Saint Peter, inculcates in his wives and children, the sense of oneness and truth, and makes everyone realize that his possession is theirs.
As a mystic and philosopher versed in the different characteristics of people, he blends his wives different qualities to have matrimonial bliss, harmony, and cohesive family.
However, Oba Nnam Obi II who says he ought to have married before his years at Sancta Maria High School in 1962 in compliance with his step mother’s advice to do so as the only surviving son of his mother, states that he owes his success to the immeasurable support of his wives and children, and to the understanding cooperation, and unflinching loyalty of his people.
No doubt, Odudu, Anyiama Osa, Ekwueme, as he is fondly called by his ever loving people has, by all parameters, lived a fulfilled life, having exhibited and manifested a wonderful and divinely-inspired progressive pilgrimage of sterling leadership.
These days, owing to age and health, Oba prefers pounded yam, chicken, fishes and non-carbohydrate foods. And to unwind, he watches television, listens to radio and reads newspapers even though he has no dull moments at all, given the number of children he has, and the swarm of visitors to his palace.
And as with all his birthday celebrations, even if low-keyed, his daughters, the Oba hints, do “compose songs and sing like sparrows to my delight,” saying, he does not regret having them, just as the boys.
As we toast to the long life and good health of this great African traditional ruler at 80 today, may those his beautiful daughters never get tired of singing like sparrows to his delight and to the satisfaction of everyone, and to the glory of God.

 

By: Victor Tew / Vincent Ochonma

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Special Report

60 Years Of Nigeria’s Health Sector: Challenges And Way Forward

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Like every other sector of the Nigerian state, the country’s health sector has evolved from one stage to another, up to the present state.
From the pre-colonial era, when treatment for ailments was based purely on traditional medicine as it relates to different parts of the country, through the emergence of the first modern medical services in Nigeria, then during the various European expeditions in the early, to mid19th century, to the era of organised healthcare services, and finally to the present era of deliberate and planned brain drain in the sector, the development in Nigeria’s heath sector has been one that requires more attention than is given it.
There is no doubt that the profession of medicine has been quite active in terms of changing for the better in accordance with global demands. For instance, the Health care systems have undergone changes, and, except for a few exceptions, the changes are for the better:
The way in which physicians are trained has changed. The management of disease entities has also changed at various points. The change has also cut across disease entities that have been treated and available therapeutic modalities, which have also undergone continual changes.
On attaining independence in 1960, the health sector, like other sectors, inherited the centralised health care services format of the colonial era, which vested the authority to take key decisions in the sector in the hand of the central government.
Then, while medical services developed and expanded with industrialisation, most medical doctors were civil servants, except those working for missionary hospitals, who combined evangelical work with healing.
Among the civil service doctors, one was appointed the Chief Medical Officer, who became the principal executor of health care policies in Nigeria, along with several other junior colleagues comprising senior medical officers and medical officers, who formed the nucleus of the ministry of health in Lagos. The detail of centralised administration of health services then was complex and reflected the complex political transformation of the whole region.
The health care services in Nigeria have been characterised by short-term planning, as is the case with the planning of most aspects of the Nigerian life. The major national development plans are “The First Colonial Development plan from 1945-1955″, “The Second Colonial Development plan from 1956-1962”, and “The First National Development Plan from 1962-1968”.
Others are: “The Second National Development Plan from 1970-1975”, “The Third National Development Plan from 1975-1980″, “The Fourth National Development Plan from “Nigeria’s Five year Strategic Plan from 2004-2008″.
All of these plans formulated goals for nationwide health care services.
The overall national policy for Nationwide Health Care Services was clearly stated in a 1954 Eastern Nigeria government report on “Policy for Medical and Health Services.” This report stated that the aim was to provide national health services for all.
The report emphasised that since urban services were well developed, going by the country’s standards then, the government intended to expand rural services. These rural services would be in the form of rural hospitals of 20-24 beds, supervised by a medical officer, who would also supervise dispensaries, maternal and child welfare clinics and preventive work, such as sanitation workers.
The policy made local governments contribute to the cost of developing and maintaining such rural services, with grants-in-aid from the regional government. This report was extensive and detailed in its description of the services envisaged. This was the policy before and during independence. After independence in 1960, the same basic health care policy was pursued, and still is the case.
By the time the Third National Development Plan was produced in 1975, more than 20 years after the report mentioned above, not much had been done to achieve the goals of the Nationwide Health Care Services policy.
This plan, which was described by General Yakubu Gowon, the then Head of the Military Government, as “A Monument to Progress”, stated: “Development trends in the health sector have not been marked by any spectacular achievement during the past decade”.
As far as development of the health sector was concerned, this development plan appeared to have focused attention on trying to improve the numerical strength of existing facilities rather than evolving a clear health care policy. This, in a nutshell seems to have been the lot of Nigeria’s development in the health sector, and, in fact, all other vital sectors of the economy.
Health care in Nigeria has been prone to so many problems which are attributable to the fact that health services are in great demand following what could be tagged astronomical increase in population but accessibility to health services been very low. The cause of this has been related to factors such as socio-economic, cultural, political as well as poor planning and/or poor implementation of health policies and programmes by the government. There are also problems of availability, accessibility, affordability, sustainability of health services and weak referral system.
In 2000, World Bank noted that “deprivations that lead to ill health are common in developing countries, especially in Nigeria, and the poor in Nigeria are particularly at risk”.
According to Adam Wagstaff, a Research Manager of the Human Development team in the Development Research Group of the World Bank, ”the relationship between poverty and access to health care can be seen as part of a larger circle where poverty leads to ill health and ill health maintains poverty”.
The implication is that to effectively address health care, other relevant sectors that directly or indirectly contribute to poverty, which is a key factor in enhancing provision of health care and accessibility of same has to be addressed.
Unfortunately, policies in these sectors, especially for the negative impacts, are often not based on health criteria because the health sector itself tends to focus its interventions within the health care delivery system, not necessarily in other relevant sectors that constitute the sources of the problem.
For instance, to ensure totally effective health care delivery system, regular power supply is required to power all necessary equipment at all times. In the same vein, to totally prevent mosquito-borne diseases, environmental planning should ensure adequate provision of drainages avoid water stagnation, however little. As a result, the enormous health benefits accruable from interventions outside the health sector are not realized.
The education sector is another key long-established determinant for quality health and health care in any development-oriented society, but which has pitiably been bastardized, knowing that better education allows individuals to be more effective in converting health care and other health-enhancing goods into health.
The challenges facing the health sector in Nigeria, in sixty years of the country’s existence are, to say the least, numerous. But it can be summarised to include inaccessibility of quality health care, poor hygiene, corruption, malnutrition, lack of access to safe drinking water, poor health infrastructure, fake drugs, insufficient financial investment, and lack of sufficient health personnel.
Government’s performance in the health sector has been at best abysmal. Investment in infrastructure has been poor and meagre remuneration for health workers has created a massive brain drain to the US and Europe.
The annual budget of the government for the health sector is 4.17% of the total national budget, which is equivalent to only $5 per person annually.
In more recent Nigeria, the expected lofty goals in the health sector have not been achieved. The capacities of the facilities that emerged from previous efforts have been stretched and infrastructure broken beyond repair. Primary health care services now exist only in name. The common man has virtually reverted to the herbalist and traditional healers for care because of access to quality health care and affordability issues.
The elites have perfected medical tourism to India, Singapore, South Africa and even Ghana. This is in the face of a rapidly changing disease patterns in which infectious diseases have been replaced by behavioural, environmental and poverty-related diseases.
Hardly a year passes without a major national strike by nurses, doctors, or health consultants. The major reasons for these strikes are poor salaries and lack of government investment in the health sector, and this is in the face of many Nigerians not being able to afford private hospitals which are simply too expensive.
Unfortunately, again, the management of the National Health Scheme (NHS) through the Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) which should ordinarily help people to secure better quality health care, had been bedeviled by corruption, crushing the opportunity and further making quality medical care inaccessible for people who contributed to the system.
The situation becomes worse when one considers the fact that the problem has nothing to do with lack of medical personnel. Certainly not! This is because about 77 per cent of black doctors in the United States of America are said to be Nigerians, and Nigerians have achieved tremendous feats in American medicine.
A good example is Doctor Oluyinka Olutoye, a Nigerian based in Houston, who made history recently by bringing out a fetus from a mother’s womb to remove a tumor, and then successfully restoring the unborn baby to the womb. In fact, there is rarely any top medical institution in the United States or Europe where you won’t find Nigerians managing at the top level.
The health sector, no doubt, has failed largely due to inept leadership. Despite the huge talents of Nigerians, which are on display in health sectors all over the world, Nigeria’s health system is failing. Donor countries and multilateral organisations are aware of these challenges, but there’s little they can do to improve the situation.
The key solution, therefore, is for Nigeria’s policymakers and health professionals, including Nigerians in Diaspora, to come together and create a long-term blueprint for the sector. The term should not only be ideally realisable in the context of the country’s peculiar socio-cultural and economic reality, but should also include a strategy for success in the next 25-35 years with timelines and key performance indicators.
If this can be judiciously done, Nigeria can truly and easily be moving towards its dream of attaining that “Giant of Africa” status it has so much desired but truly failed to achieve in it in reality.

 

By:  Sogbeba Dokubo

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Special Report

‘Wike Has Transformed Rivers Through Projects’

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On April 11, 2015, the good people of Rivers State trooped out in their numbers to declare their preference for the creation of a New Rivers State. They voted overwhelmingly for Nyesom Ezenwo Wike (CON, GSSRS) to lead the state into prosperity.
That decision by 1,029,102 (One Million and Twenty Nine Thousand, One Hundred and Two) Rivers people representing 87.77 per cent of the total valid votes cast established the process of rebirth, revival and reconstruction of Rivers State. That decision laid the foundation for the unprecedented development being witnessed across the length and breadth of Rivers State.
Over the first 31 months of his first term, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has transformed the state through the unprecedented roll out of people oriented projects.
Economic recession has crippled development in most states of the Federation . Majority of states cannot pay salaries , let alone, embark on the developmental projects.
The case of Rivers State has been different . Like Governor Wike has told anyone who cares to listen, Rivers State is operating a divine economy built on sound economic principles and the overriding interest of the people .
Governor Wike has over the first 31 months of his first term embarked on the massive construction , reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads, schools, hospitals, reclamation of lands, agricultural development and provision of other critical infrastructure across the three senatorial districts of the state .
Revival of the State economy and basic governance structure
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike ( CON, GSSRS) inherited a battered economy. At the twilight of the immediate past APC administration in the state, all the economic fundamentals were in a terrible shape, while businesses had collapsed. The basic governance structure in the state was in shambles with the state bureaucracy at a vegetative state.
Through careful implementation of reform policies, Governor Wike has over the last two years revived and repositioned the Rivers economy. After two years of good governance, Rivers economy is one of the most vibrant in the country, supporting corporate, medium-sized and small businesses across the state.
Business entrepreneurs who relocated from the state at the twilight of the immediate past APC administration are returning to the state. One of the major indicators of revived economy is the sustained growth of the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR).
While other states suffer from economic recession, Governor Wike posits that Rivers State is enjoying an era of boom because it operates a Jesus economy. The foundations of the state’s economic growth are from God, hence it cannot be affected by political and economic developments in the country.
The governor revived the State Assembly which was sitting at the dinning of the Government House under the last APC administration in the state. Since he proclaimed the Assembly, they have been passing laws for the good governance of the state. Two budgets have been passed, while the State Assembly enjoys independence and financial autonomy.
Regular payment of salaries and pensions
Immediate past Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi painted a gloomy picture of the finances of the state on May 27, 2015, when he declared: “Nyesom Wike is coming, let us see where he will get the money to pay salaries.” At this point two days to the end of that failed administration, the state civil servants were owed four months salaries and pensioners owed for six months.
With the state governance system and bureaucracy revived, Governor Wike has taken deliberate steps to ensure that civil servants and pensioners in the state receive their monthly salaries and entitlements.
Governor Wike initiated and implemented a scientific biometric exercise which paved the way for accurate data on workers and pensioners on the state’s payroll.
Rivers State is one of the very few states that is up-to-date in the payment of salaries and pensions. This has served as a motivation to civil servants to contribute their quota to the development of a New Rivers State.
The regular payment of salaries and pensions has helped in making the Rivers economy functional as the flow of liquidity is constant all through the period under review.
Projects Galore Governor Wike did not emerge Mr Projects by happenstance. His emergence is a product of vision and careful planning, targeted at repositioning Rivers State.
The 2017 budget was crafted to lift and flood the state with developmental projects.
Out of the N470billion budgeted for 2017, the total projected capital expenditure is N329 billion (three hundred and twenty-nine billion naira) only, which represents 70% of the capital estimate of the budget. This gives a capital to recurrent expenditure ratio of 70:30. This is unprecedented. The multiplier effect of this pro-people decision is being felt across the state.
Road infrastructure
Thirty one months ago when Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike took over the reins of leadership, the economy of Rivers State was at its lowest level. The road infrastructure had completely collapsed, leading to economic stagnation.
Right on the day of his inauguration at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt, Governor Wike launched “Operation Zero Potholes Programme”. Since May 29, 2015, the Wike administration has constructed, reconstructed and rehabilitated over 200 roads.
The administration started with the construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads in Port Harcourt; Obio/Akpor, Ikwerre and Eleme Local Government Areas. Majority of these roads were completed and commissioned at the end of the governor’s first year. Roads in Diobu, Borikiri, Port Harcourt Township and Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
Governor Wike’s development of road infrastructure is tied to the rapid social and economic development of the state. The first class road infrastructure, drainage systems and bridges being constructed, reconstructed and rehabilitated across the state by international and indigenous contractors have enhanced economic recovery in the state.
The road infrastructure is linking communities, thus enabling farmers and businessmen to link up with markets in Urban Centres.
At the last count, the Wike administration has constructed or is constructing over 200 roads, spanning over 500 kilometres in a statewide unprecedented intervention in the road sector.
Some of the key road projects include:
1.Rehabilitation/ Maintenance of some roads and drains, tagged “Operation Zero Potholes” in Port Harcourt metropolis (additional Works) (Ahoada Road, Force Avenue, Churchill and Creek Road, Evo and Woji Road, Tombia Extension, Ohiamini Road, Ogbunabali Road, Sokoto Road, Eleme Flyover, Kolokuma Road) – completed and commissioned
2. Rehabilitation of Industry Road – Completed
3. Construction Of Internal Roads and Drains In G.S.S Rumuokwuta in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area – Completed
4. Rehabilitation of marine base junction and Moscow road roundabout and laying of kerb stone and concreting of the island- Completed
5. Port Harcourt Government House – work in progress
6. Reconstruction of High Street, Rehabilitation of Prof. Okujagu Street and Danjuma Drive off Peter Odili Road in Trans Amadi Industrial Area-
7.Construction of Sani Abacha Road-
8. Captain Amangala Street, Bishop Fabara Street, Tourist Beach Road, Elliot Henry Street, Bishop Johnson Street, Bonny Street, Adaka Boro Street, Creek Road Extension, Extension of Ada Expressways by Rumuola Bridge and Dualization of Birabi Road by Presidential Hotel Roads
9.Desilting and Cleaning of Subsurface Drains and Manholes from Education to Emenike Junction, Okija Road to Nta-Wogba Creek, Mile 3 Diobu Section of Ikwerre Road and Big Culvert Under Aba Road and Desilting of Covered Drains and Deflooding of Bank Road, Gokana, Forces Avenue Thru Moscow Road Junction, Old GRA Port Harcourt-
10. Construction of Eagle Island – lioabuchi By-Pass, Port Harcourt. – completed and commissioned
11. Construction of Chief Benson Street Chief Benson Close, Omunakwe Str. And the Surrounding Streets Ortiarunma and Omarunma Close. – Contractor is on site.
12. Reconstruction of Roads in D/Line, PHC. – completed and commissioned
13. Dualization of Azikiwe Road (UTC) Junction – Lagos .Bus Stop. – completed and commissioned
Name of project – lga obalga
14. Reconstruction of Diobu Roads (Nnokam Road, Chief Amadi Street, Elechi Street, Odioma Street, Ekwe Street, Wokoma Lane, Azikiwe Street, Ojoto Street, Adelabu Street, Abel Jumbo Street, Ikwerre Rd By Education Bus Stop By The Flyover To Abonnema Wharf Road, Abakaliki Street, Anokwuru Street, Nkoro (Nsuka) Street, Nnewi Street, Okolabiri Street, Osina Street, Azikwe Lane, Ataba Street, Wokoma Street, Enwume Ave, Ejekwu St., Nnokam Street, Bishop Okoye Street, Wobo Street, Elechi Beach Road, Lumumba Street and Joinkrama St.) – comple ted and commissioned
15. Rehabilitation of Agip Gate to Eagle – Island- lloabuchi link Road Junction and Wike Road in Obio /Akpo L.G.A – Completed
16. Rehabilitation of Abuja Bypass, Mile III Diobu, Port Harcourt – Completed
17. Rehabilitation of Rumuola By Boricamp Junction To Rumuola Flyover, Rumuola Overhead Bridge By Rumuadolu Road To Presidential Hotel, Eliozu East-West Road By The Overhead Bridge – Completed
18.Rehabilitation of SARS (Nelson Mandela) Road, Rukpakwolushi-Eligbolo Road and Agip Road – Completed
19.Rehabilitation of Okocha Mgbuodohia Roads, Rumuolumeni As a Replacement For East/West – Ogbakiri-Degema-Abonnema Road – Completed
20.Construuction of Eneka-Rumuapu-Rukpokwu and Miniorlu – Mgbuakara – Eliaparawo RoadsConstruction of Owabie Road, Canaan Avenue and Ozurunha Street, Off Orazi, all in Rumuowabie Community in Rumuopirikom Town- Eneka- Rumuapu Completed
21.Reconstruction of Rumuagholu-Airport Road “A” L=2550m Spur to Nkpolu East/West Road “B” L = 1170m and Spur to International Market Road “C” L= 1675m- Completed
22. Rehabilitation of Rumukalagbor Road (the link road between Elekahia and Aba Road), Rumuibekwe Road and Eliohani Road- Completed
23.Rehabilitation of Mid-King Perekule Road to Woji Road, Port Harcourt- Completed
24.Reconstruction of Eliozu-Rumunduru-Oroigwe- Elimgbu Road/Bridge in Obio/Apkor LGA- Completed
25.Rehabilitation of Oyigbo Express to Imo River Aba Express Road- work in progress
26.Rehabilitation of Aba Road (Artillery Phase 1 – Phase 2 With CBN Junction, Rivers State Secretariat Complex Access Roads- Completed
27. Reconstruction of Woji Road From Old Aba Road to Woji Road/Bridge. – Completed
53. Construction of Akpajo-Woji Road/Bridge. – Completed
54.Reconstruction of Elioparanwo Road. – Completed
55.Dualisation of Epirikom – Rumuoiumeni Road, (additional works of canals) – Completed
56. Dualisation of Nkpogu Road (from Trans Amadi Road – Micheletti Junction – NLNG Roundabout) Including a Bridge, Reconstruction of Micheletti Junction – Amadi Ama Road and Mammy Market (Nlerum) Road. – Completed
57.Dualisation of East/West-Elelenwo-Woji- Slaughter- Trans Amadi-Garrison Roas. – Completed
58.Construction of Ozuoba-Ogbogoro-Rumuolumeni Road. – Completed
59.Reconstruction of Oyigbo Market Road to Kom-Kom in Oyigbo LGA. – Completed
Name of project – LGA Eleme
60. Repair of some section of East/West Road from Eleme Junction-Onne Junction. Contract Sum
Name of project – LGA OBALGA/Eleme
61.Dualization of Oil Mill-Elelenwo-Akpajo Road- work in progress
Name of project – LGA Ikwerre/Etche
62. Reconstruction of Igwuruta-Chokocho Road terminating at the Bridge – Completed and commissioned
Name of project – LGA Etche
63. Construction of Eleme Junction-lgbo Etche-Chokocho Road
64. Reconstruction of Chokocho-Umuechem-Ozuzu Road in Etche LGA
65. Construction of Ulakwo ll-Afara-Nihi Etche Road in Etche LGA
Name of project – LGA Emohua and Ikwerre
66.Construction of Rumuji-lbaa-Obele-lsiokpo Road In Emohua and Ikwerre LGAS –
67. Reconstruction of Airport-lpo-Omademe-Ozuaha Roads in Ikwerre Local Government Area –
Name of project – LGA Emohua
68. Construction of Elele Alimini Internal Roads Phase I –
69. Construction of Elele Alimini Internal Roads Phase II-
Name of project – LGA Tai, Khana/Gokana
70.Dualization of Saakpenwa-Bori Road –
71. Construction of Internal Roads of Birabi Memoral Grammar School (BMGS) Bori
Name of project – LGA Degema, Asari Toru and Akuku Toru
72.Dredging, Sandfilling and Reclamation of Bakana, Abalama and Abonnema in Degema, Asari Toru and Akuku Toru LGAS –
Name of project – LGA AKULGA
73.Construction of Abonnema Ring Road Phase 2- work in progress
Name of project – LGA Gokana
74. Completion of Kpopie-Bodo City Road
Name of project – LGA Akuku Toru
75.Construction of Internal Roads and drainage in Nyemoni Grammar School in Abonnema, Akuku Toru LGA
Name of project – LGA Abua/Odua
76. Construction of Abua-Degema-Emoh-lyak-lghom- Elok and Emoh-Egbolom Access Road in Abua/Odual Local Government Area
Name of project – LGA ONELGA
77. Reconstruction of Akabuka-Omoku Road –
78. Completion of Unity Road & Bridges (Khana/Andoni and Opobo Local Government Areas)
79.Rehabilitation of Omoku Internal Roads in ONELGA –
Name of project – LGA Okrika
80. Reconstruction of Ekerekana-Okochiri Link Road in Okrika Local Government and the construction of Okochiri Internal roads in Okochiri Community
Name of project – LGA Oyigbo
81.Reconstruction of Old Aba Road By Mbano Camp Junction
Name of project – LGA AKULGA
82. Construction of Abonnema New Bridge and Approach/Asphalt Overlay of Abonnema Internal Roads in AKULGA. – completed and commissioned
Name of project – LGA Ogu/Bolo
83. Reclamation/Sand filling of Olombie/Owukiri Island, Ogu Community . work in progress
Name of project – LGA Ahoada East
84. Reconstruction of Edeoha-lkata-Ochigba Road In Ahoada East LGA
Some of the roads completed or under construction are key to the rapid development of the benefitting communities.
The dualisation of the Sakpenwa-Bori Road that cuts across Tai, Gokana and Khana Local Government Areas and links neighbouring Andoni and Opobo Local Government Areas, remains the greatest post independence gift to the Ogoni People.
The road is also a key facilitator of economic activities. Even the milestone completion already attained has improved the fortune of the people.
The Ogoni-Andoni-Opobo Unity Road is one of the most important roads since the creation of Rivers State, 50 years ago. This road links the prominent riverine communities of Andoni and Opobo Nkoro Local Government Areas to the rest of Rivers State, through Khana Local Government Area.
It is a road with economic and social significance to the riverine populations. The people of Andoni and Opobo Nkoro have shown their deep appreciation to Governor Wike for translating the vision of this road to reality.
The Woji-Akpajo Bridge recently completed by the Wike administration is a story of the commitment of Governor Wike to completing key projects abandoned by the immediate past APC administration in the state, but which are relevant to the development of Rivers people. Earlier in the life of the administration, the governor completed the Abuluoma -Woji Road and Bridge, also abandoned by that administration.
The recently completed Woji-Akpajo Bridge links Obio/Akpor Local Government Area to Eleme Local Government Area and helps to solve traffic congestion on Aba Road.
The Reconstruction of Edeoha-lkata-Ochigba Road In Ahoada East Local Government Area is a major economic intervention to help the farming communities in this axis. This is another abandoned road, which Governor Wike is reconstructing in line with his pledge to the Ahoada East people.
The Reconstruction of Obiri Ikwerre – Airport Road is a major alternate route to the Port Harcourt International Airport. This road nearing completion was flagged off for reconstruction during the first year anniversary of the Wike administration. Today, it has reduced travel time to the airport.
The Etche Roads are worthy of special mention. First it was the Igwuruta-Chokocho road, which was delivered as a major link between the food basket of the state and the markets of Port Harcourt.
That completed, Governor Wike flagged off and intensified the construction of other roads linking Etche communities and the rest of Rivers State.
They include: Construction of Eleme Junction-lgbo Etche-Chokocho Road, Reconstruction of Chokocho-Umuechem-Ozuzu Road in Etche LGA and Construction of Ulakwo ll-Afara-Nihi Etche Road in Etche LGA.
Etche people have never had it so good.
In Kalabari land, Governor Wike first completed the Abonnema/Obonoma Link Road and Bridge. Thereafter, he is constructing the Abonnema Ring Road which serves as an alternate route out of the ancient town.
The Wike administration is also constructing the internal roads of Nyemoni Grammar School in Abonnema.
It is necessary to highlight two other critical roads that are helping to reinvigorate the economy of Rivers State. The Construction of Abua-Degema-Emoh-lyak-lghom- Elok and Emoh-Egbolom Access Road in Abua/Odual Local Government Area and the reconstruction of Akabuka-Omoku Road.
In Rivers State, all the three senatorial districts have been impacted positively in terms of road infrastructure. Governor Wike people-oriented style of governance entails that all segments of the state are carried along. So far, he has religiously kept his promise.
December 2017 Road Flag Off Programmes
As the 2017 Christmas approached , Governor Wike flagged off the construction of key road projects. He flagged off the reconstruction of Ahoada-Odienereyi-Ihugbogo-Odieke Road in Ahoada East Local Government Area. The Governor also flagged off the dualization of the Omoku-Egbema Road and the construction/rehabilitation of Isiokpo Internal Roads and Drains in Ikwerre Local Government Area.
Healthcare Delivery
Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has worked towards creating a comprehensive healthcare that caters for the needs of Rivers people. The administration has invested in the improvement of health facilities and services across the state, while taking care of the welfare of professionals in the sector.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, was in Rivers State to lay the foundation for the construction of an ultra-modern doctors quarters at the Braithwaite Specialist Memorial Hospital. This project is progressing satisfactorily.
Training of Health Professionals
The administration established a College of Medical Sciences at the Rivers State University and also started the setting up of the State Teaching Hospital with the signing of the bill to actualize it.
Support for Private Medical Practitioners
In order to guarantee that more residents of Rivers State have access to quality healthcare, the Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike flagged off a private hospitals loan scheme (PHLS).
The first batch of the scheme witnessed 37 hospitals in the state having access to N500 million to upgrade their facilities and improve their services to the people . Seven of the beneficiaries are non-indigenes, while 30 are from Rivers State.
Flagging off the PHLS at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike urged the private medical practitioners to apply the loans judiciously.
The state government would pay the interest on the loans on behalf of the beneficiaries, while the beneficiaries will pay the principal sum. This novel scheme has improved access to quality healthcare in Rivers State.
Unprecedented Rehabilitation of Secondary Healthcare Facilities
Prior to the advent of the Wike administration, secondary healthcare had collapsed across the state. These General Hospitals suffered criminal neglected during the leadership of the immediate past APC administration in the state. Therefore, Rivers people in rural communities were denied access to quality healthcare.
In line with the vision of the Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike to create access to quality healthcare for the people of Rivers State , the Wike Administration commenced the total rehabilitation of 13 General Hospitals .
The following are the hospitals being rehabilitated : General Hospital Omoku, General Hospital Nchia , General Hospital , Abua , General Hospital Isiokpo, General Hospital Abonnema, General Hospital Okirika , General Hospital Opobo , General Hospital Bodo, General Hospital Ngo, General Hospital Buguma, Psychiatric Hospital , Rumuigbo , General Hospital Emohua and General Hospital Eberi.
Rivers people from all walks of life have declared their support for the Governor’s commitment to rebuild the health infrastructure in the state. These hospitals have never witnessed any form of rehabilitation since they were constructed in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Governor Wike declared that his administration will transform the secondary healthcare sector of the state as a means of improving the living standard of the people.
The governor said that the state government resolved to revive the secondary healthcare facilities because they were abandoned for over two decades.
Their upgrade would open a new chapter in healthcare delivery in the state . Quality healthcare would be close to the ordinary people of Rivers State at their doorsteps .
Recruitment of Medical Personnel/Improvement of Facilities at Braithwaite Specialist Memorial Hospital
Aside the development of physical infrastructure in health facilities across the state, the Wike administration has recruited qualified medical professionals to help the state government strengthen access to quality healthcare.
Also, facilities at the Braithwaite Specialist Memorial Hospital (BSMH) have been improved by the administration. Governor Wike has released $4million for the purchase and installation of modern equipment at the BSMH.
The administration will implement a phased distribution of vehicles to doctors on the payroll of the state government in the course of the year.

Nwakaudu is Special Assistant to Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media.

To be contd.

 

Simeon Nwakaudu

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