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Periscoping Nigeria’s Health System

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During a recent ranking of
Global Health Systems of the United Nations member states by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Nigerian Health System was ranked 187th out of 191 member states ranked. This ranking looked at the impact of the health system on the member states population health using well accepted health indicators.
In developed countries, healthcare, education, and welfare of the population are accepted responsibilities of the government. This principle and concept has recently been consolidated by the United Nations (UN), declaring the provision of basic healthcare to the population of every country one of the Fundamental Human Rights. And Nigeria is signatory to this Declaration.
This article draws our collective attention to an expensive and wasteful national crisis with many silent victims. Let’s begin the review.
An America adage says, “you have to know where you come from in order to know where you are going”
The Nigerian two-tier Health System has its genesis from the colonial era when Nigeria was under the British Empire. During the Colonial days all British nationals and Nigerian politicians with any serious health condition in the country were transported to Britain for treatment. Meanwhile, functional General Hospitals were built and operated in the cities and some midsize towns, and British Missionaries also operated excellent Missionary Hospitals for the rest of the population in the remaining midsize towns.
Since independence in 1960 and for over 53 years, this relics of colonialism has remained in the Nigerian Health System. Today, the Nigerian politicians, top civil servants, military officers, current and retired, and heir families that constitute the “neocolonial masters” are routinely air-evacuated to Canada, Britain, France, Germany, South Africa, Middle-Eastern countries, Australia, and other European countries for all their medical care including, medical check up in the form of medical vacation at public expense while the rest of the Nigerian population makes do with ill-equipped, poorly maintained, inadequately staffed, and dysfunctional public health facilities, most of which are in very deplorable State.
Lest we forget, our national health infrastructure was neglected for many years under the series of military dictatorships some of who just allowed poorly trained staff to run these institutions due to severe brain drain and intellectual flight from the country for various reasons. The patients at these hospitals usually get a list of medical supplies including drugs, intravenous fluids and tubings, syringes, needles sheets, and disinfectants to come with at admission or family members must rush to get the items on the list while the patient is processed.
This “two-tier health system” as it operates in Nigeria is medically unethical, morally indefensible, and discriminatory by class. The Nigerian political elites invariably commit “moral hazard” overseas as they consume more medical services than if they had to pay the entire bill out of their pockets.
From Health Policy and Management perspective, this “two-tier health system” in Nigeria creates severe health disparities, and makes the totality of the Nigerian Health System appear disorganised, dysfunctional, uncoordinated, fragmented, duplicative in services, expensive, wasteful, and economically unsustainable, thus, the very poor ranking by the WHO (187th out of 191).
A quote from a recent policy paper from the Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja is both instructive and substantiates most of the above mentioned health policy concerns, I quote, “the health status of Nigerians are in deplorable state with numerous problems including low motivation for health professional workers, a culture of corruption and little consultation between the Federal and the State authorities and between Federal Ministry of Health and other Federal Ministries” unquote. Given such self-assessment, do you wonder why Nigeria has the second highest maternal mortality in the world?”
It is imperative to state that there are enough accumulated blames in the 53 years of our independence to go around. We need to recognize that we can not waste any more time or resources. Everyone must sacrifice, specially our elected officials who remain the most beneficiaries of “the two-tier health system”.
Health care reform takes time to mature and for a reform to endure, it has to be a comprehensive overhaul and not patchwork of incremental healthcare improvements on the status quo. We know that our current health system is broken and needs fixing immediately. We ought to develop a comprehensive National Health Plan and stick to it, but right now, we do not have one. If we do, it should not be put close to the vest of the Minister of Health and his Federal Ministry of Health officials. Unfortunately, this Minister’s actions appears to favour “For-Profit” Health System solutions for Nigeria to a Universal Health System where healthcare is a right of all Nigerians and not to a privileged few. Data from WHO shows globally that, the nations with the best health Systems (France, Japan, Sweden, and Britain) also have the most cost-effective healthcare, and they are insuring the health of all their citizenry.
What every Nigerian must realize is that as a nation, we have wasted billions of US dollars (or Trillions of Naira) in Overseas Health Care the last 53 years on our “neocolonialists” (our political elites). These are resources we could have used to improve our national health infrastructure, purchased modern equipments for our health facilities, build adequate capacity, recruit, train, and retain the health professionals needed to operate the system. Hopefully, the next 53 years will be innovative and more visionary for the Nigerian Health System than the last 53 years.
Consequently, I make the following few of many recommendations:
*Regionalisation of the National Health System following the Six Geo-Political Zones/Regions and formation of Regional Health Systems and Regional Health Management Teams. For example, North Central Health System and the Niger Delta Regional Health System.
*Any reform agenda must comprehensively review all four-components of any health system namely: finance, insurance, delivery system, and payment. Imperative questions on these components are: 1) How will the reform be sustainably financed nationally, regionally, at the State, LGA, and community levels? 2) Can the National Health Insurance Scheme be rolled out immediately for all Nigerians as a National Universal Health Insurance Plan as in Britain? If not, why? There has been enough pilot studies of the scheme and it is time to get serious and stop wasting resources. The new health delivery system should have universal access to healthcare for all Nigerians and should be located close to where the people live. Finally, what type of payment system do we need for all the providers? Single-payer system as in Britain and Canada or multiple-payer system as they are trying to work out in the United States?
*Some form of health workforce brain drain Reversal Program must be developed and instituted to bring home Nigerian Health Professionals Overseas and stem the exodus of our “best and brightest health professional” graduates to foreign countries.
*Health Information Technology and Electronic Health Records (HIT-EHR) diffusion must be an integral part of any 21st Century Health Care Reform. Computers will help the reform go faster, smoother, reduce cost, provide accountability, transparency, improve patient safety, improve quality of care, with no more lost patient paper charts and records.
*Primary care and evidence based preventive care must be central to the basic health care for all with medical homes for chronic disease care. Primary and preventive care must be key to this reform agenda because data shows that 75-85% of any population only need primary care service in a given year and only 5-10% need tertiary (University Teaching Hospital) type care. Further, high ratio of Primary Care Providers in any population is associated with lower hospitalisation rate, and adults who have primary care physician as their regular doctors experience lower mortality and lower health care costs.
*Our federal proxy Health Agencies and Commissions must be streamlined and merged to work co-operatively with the regional, states, and local governments. The University Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centers will co-ordinate the healthcare in each state, down to the local government, and community levels through the Clinical Service Line (CSL)-Model chaired by their more skilled, competent, and highly trained chairmen and Chiefs of Service. The CSL will be Co-Chaired by a management expert for efficiency and effective management of the program and resources allocated to each Clinical Service Line.
*Every community in Nigeria needs either Community Health Centre (CHC) or Mobile Clinics for our Very Rural Areas coordinated from their LGA-District Hospitals. Each CHC must have Teams of Medical Home Primary Care Physicians with Health information -Systems-Electronic Health Records, Out-Patient Pharmacy, Medical Labs, x-Ray, Urgent Care, and a Birthing Center run by midwives supervised by doctors at their LGA District Hospitals. Each Clinical Service Line will have directors at the LGA-Hospitals and CHC coordinated from the University Teaching Hospital or Federal Medical Center at the State capital.
*Patient Safety initiatives and Patience Compensation for medical errors, accidents, injury, and death as a consequent of health care through no fault of theirs should be considered in the new health delivery system to be formulated.
*A National Healthcare Consensus Conference should be convened consisting of: 1) national, regional, state, and local legislative and executive branches of government: 2) representatives of the health professions, health industry, and labor: 3) experts in health economics, health policy and Management, budgetary processes, and health services administration. This should be a retreat of workshops, small group sections, and presentations for 3-4 weeks at the end of which a truly National Health Plan will emerge that will provide universal access to healthcare for all Nigerians executed (95-99.9%) in Nigeria by Nigerians to be implemented over 3-4 years that will eliminate the “two-tier health system”.
*While the foregoing reforms are taking shape, the Federal Ministry of Health should immediately buy health insurance in every country Nigerian governments transport Nigerians for cost-effective healthcare. It is well known that health services overseas is more expensive without health insurance than with one.
This comprehensive overhaul of the National Health System as proposed above will enormously expand the health sector of the Nigerian economy, creating thousands if not, millions of jobs nationwide, and thus, contribute to our economic growth and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the next rebasing of the Nigerian economy.
The National Conference and the National Assembly should carefully review our health system on national security grounds, the dysfunction of the current Nigerian Health System, and the waste of our scarce national health resources. They must not accept any patchwork of incremental healthcare improvement on the status quo if, there is no comprehensive reform agenda to eliminate “the two-tier health system” as discussed above. It will do nothing for the greater good of Nigerian healthcare, knowing what they do now, about the national need for universal health insurance and universal access to healthcare.     .
As an expert in Population Health Policy and Management, I can say, it is not that Private (For-Profit) Health System has not been tried, it has failed woefully everywhere. This is why all European countries, Japan, Norway, Denmark, Australia, and South Korea have abandoned it since after the Second World War and embraced Universal Healthcare for its cost-effectiveness and provision of universal access to healthcare for all their citizenry. United States was the last industrialized country to change their health system and they too are in the process of making the switch right now. There are multiple countries with best practice of Universal healthcare Nigeria can emulate like Britain, Canada, Sweden, and other players that will help us get it done like WHO and the World Bank. Nigeria will not be reinventing the wheels here.
Consequently, the National Conference must forge a new direction and leave a legacy of transformative recommendations in healthcare for all Nigerians to experience for a lifetime that will bring Nigeria squarely into WHO standards that Ghana and South Africa have already achieved for all their citizenry. Why must our political officials have better healthcare than those who elected them?
Finally, the Conference should propose and the National Assembly should immediately merge “the two-tier health system” in Nigeria into a single Universal National Health Plan for all Nigerians executed in Nigeria by Nigerians most of who had their specialisation training overseas.
Prof. Amaye-Obu is United States-based Population Health Policy and Management expert.

 

Prof. Fons A. Amaye-Obu

Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu

Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu

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Nigeria Info And Finger Pointing Proverb 

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It is said that as you point one finger at a person, the remaining four fingers point at you. In other words, if you must come to equity, then you must come with clean hands.
Today (Monday), a friend drew my attention to one of the programmes of Nigeria Info, Port Harcourt where a duty continuity announcer took time to dress me down. The nature of the job I do entails that I receive personal insults/attacks on a regular basis.
These attacks come from all corners.  But, one cannot shy away from the truth because we are scared of being insulted by duty continuity announcers.  We owe the society this responsibility to effect positive transformation.
In my earlier piece where I questioned the sincerity and professionalism of Nigeria Info, Port Harcourt and her sister station, it wasn’t done just for Governor Wike.  I simply used Governor Wike as a standard to measure the weak gate-keeping process of these stations, the anti-Rivers agenda of the ownership structure and the deliberate attempt to mislead Rivers people, using the duty continuity announcers as the attack heads.
I have pointed out clearly cases of deliberate anti-Rivers acts by the Lebanese-owned stations.  These acts cannot be swept under the carpet by throwing stones at Simeon.  What does Nigeria Info Port Harcourt stand to gain by deliberately refusing to canvass for federal projects in Rivers State? What are the benefits to Rivers State if Nigeria Info continues to defend the Federal Government in its inability to promote security in Rivers State? What are the benefits to Rivers State,  if Nigeria Info continues to side with the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army even when their personnel were captured on national television invading the Port Harcourt INEC office in an attempt to disrupt the collation of results and subvert the will of Rivers people?
What are the benefits to Rivers people when Nigeria Info consistently floats phone-in programmes skewed in favour of their sponsors (the APC) with the same callers making similar unverifiable statements daily? The questions are endless.
To hold government to account, a station must be accountable.  What I am simply demanding is accountability.  If Nigeria Info demands good governance, nobody would raise eyebrow. But for them to become politicians, we are duty bound to question the rationality of their partisan mischief.
It is unhelpful to seek the attention of the National Broadcasting Commission because Nigeria Info is pro-APC. Otherwise, the content of Nigeria Info is below the guidelines and specifications of professional broadcasting. It is even below the standard of the Lebanese- owned station in Abuja and Lagos.
Imagine a duty continuity announcer on Nigeria Info declaring that local government councils are non-existent in Rivers State. On what premise did he reach that conclusion? Did he conduct a survey and what was the methodology of the survey?  Such careless declaration on radio is reckless and unprofessional.
The real question that must be answered by the owners of Nigeria Info is: what are the mechanisms on the ground to check the reckless partisanship of her duty continuity announcers? Both Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM in Port Harcourt seem to be stations where duty continuity announcers engage in free-for-all to please their paymasters.  There is never any disciplinary process.  I think the absence of any form of disciplinary platform is deliberate.  It is aimed at ensuring that the overriding anti-Rivers agenda is achieved. It is not coincidental that the duty continuity announcers detailed to drive the APC negative agenda in Nigeria Info are not under any form of supervision.
The Lebanese owners of Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM must, as a matter of urgency and necessity, spell out a code of conduct for their duty continuity announcers, especially in Rivers State where the National Broadcasting Commission has allowed pro-APC media outlets the free space to misinform, mislead and generate anti-Rivers sentiments. As they say, power is nothing without control.
The Lebanese owners must also put in place an official public complaint system for its duty continuity announcers. Sanctions must be attached to cases where duty continuity announcers deliberately misinform the public.  Even on trucks, companies place phone numbers to check the excesses of truck drivers.
On Sunday, Governor Wike called members of the Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks for a meeting to appraise their operations.  He pointed out where they fell short and urged them to step up or face sanctions.  However, a duty continuity announcer embarked on blatant mischief.  It was as if he read the press statement of the APC.
In Port Harcourt, Nigeria Info is duty bound to retrace its step. It must purge itself of sponsored partisanship.  There is no reason to grandstand.
Nigeria Info Port Harcourt should be truthful and reduce the dose of mischief and manipulation of information it feeds the populace. It should be an advocate for Rivers State.  It should join other well-meaning Rivers people to demand federal projects from the APC Federal Government.  Since 2015, there is nothing from the Nigerian Info as official partner to Rivers people. Yet these guys want to belittle the developmental strides of the pillar of development in Rivers State.
Accountability is a two-way traffic.  As the auditor audits a firm, he must not rape the finances of that firm. Information management is serious business.
It is said that a man breaking groundnuts for a blind man must continue to whistle. The whistleblowing is key to convince the blind that the groundnut breaker is transparent and is not involved in CHOPPING the groundnut.  For Nigeria Info Port Harcourt, the time has come for transparency in its operations.  We can no longer keep quiet and assume that the pro-APC Broadcast is coincidental.  It is more painful because APC HAS FAILED THE PEOPLE OF RIVERS STATE.
Nwakaudu is Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media.

 

Simeon Nwakaudu

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When A Radio Station Goes Political …

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It is true that the media have a responsibility to hold the government to account.  But that responsibility must be discharged with utmost regard for objectivity,  fairness and commitment  to the development of the society.
Therefore, a medium is under strict obligation to work towards the growth and development of the society where it operates.  This is because the sustenance of any medium lies in the serenity  of its host environment.
Nigeria Info Port Harcourt,  a radio station owned by a Lebanese businessman,  has constituted itself into a propaganda tool for anti-Rivers elements.  It is the same story with its sister station,  Wazobia FM Port Harcourt . They broadcast falsehood,  half truths and outright concocted reports to mislead their listeners. This is a recurring and ever-present reality  in Rivers State.  Everyday, these stations assault the listening public with misleading information , aimed at promoting a negative political and  social order.
The falsehood and negative information order of the Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM stations is deliberate, planned and sustained  to cause disaffection.  It is politically  crafted and funded to generate negative opinion about the Rivers State Governor and Rivers State.
The activities of these foreign stations have nothing to do with media practice.  If it was to hold the government accountable,  it wouldn’t  be horribly one-sided. This is not the style of practise adopted by Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM in Lagos. Of course, in Lagos, the owners align with the political party in power. It is not the practice of Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM in Abuja. We know who controls the Federal Government.
The official policy is to continually misinform the listening public at every turn. It is not coincidental that all the duty continuity announcers of the two stations are hostile to the state and its government.  Using the phone-in programme format, the stations deliberately broadcast wrong and unverified information.  There is virtually  no respect for the ethics of broadcasting, as long as the goal of destroying the governance process is targeted.
The stations are still  in a vicious  campaign mode. Canvassing  for the immediate-past administration and its officials.  In some instances,  one would think Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM are fielding candidates for a yet-to-be-determined election.
I am compelled to write this piece after I listened to a paid feature broadcast by the said organization attacking the federal  lawmakers from Rivers State who protested the neglect of East-West Road and Aleto Bridge by the Federal Government.  It was rather disheartening that these radio stations  placed their political and financial interests above that of the environment where they operate. The commercial fee for the sponsored broadcast opposing the completion of the East-West Road has been aired and money banked, but the entire State plus the Niger Delta region continue to suffer.
Just a few weeks ago, the Federal Government awarded different road contracts amounting to over N180 billion. Rivers State and majority of the South-South States were excluded.  These Lebanese stations saw nothing wrong with the development. Rather, they focused on their goal, which is to always defend the APC  and its failed Federal Government.
These radio stations are unperturbed by the deliberate and frustrating marginalisation of Rivers State by the APC.  They play the ostrich,  pretending  that they enjoy the fruits of this ugly marginalisation.  They air their politically-motivated programmes with a seeming declaration: “We told you so”.
Whenever Rivers State is short-changed,  there is a clear spirit of celebration  at Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM,  Port  Harcourt.
For these stations, there is nothing like responsibility to the community,  outside consistent negative media hypes.
The manner security infractions are reported on Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM,  Port Harcourt connotes that nobody lives in Rivers  State.  Yet they ply their trade here. Security reports are broadcast in very unprofessional manner to belittle the efforts of the security agencies and the supporting state government.  No attempt is made to indicate that the Rivers State Government can only support,  fund and encourage the security agencies when there are infractions. They deliberately  forget that the entire country is having major security issues and Rivers State is one of the few states where the State Government and the security agencies have worked hard to tackle emerging challenges.
When the Nigerian Army was used by the APC to frustrate the take-off of the Rivers State Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency, it was Nigeria Info,  Port Harcourt that justified the anti-Rivers action.  Continuity announcers took to the airwaves with pre-arranged phone-in programmes to defend an illegal action that negatively affected Rivers security.
The issue of the delivery of projects in different sectors is one area that these Lebanese stations have worked quite hard to misinform people. Hiding under contrived phone-in programmes, duty continuity announcers of the two stations throw up highly incorrect information and insult the Rivers State Government.  The phone-in programmes are cooked to allow same APC supporters to air disparaging and false allegations daily.
If by any stroke of luck, a pro-PDP caller comes on air, he/she is hounded by the desperate duty continuity announcers.  There are times when they even insult such callers or bang the phone on them.
At the rate which Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM propagate their anti-Rivers agenda, one would expect them to field candidates in any forthcoming elections.  No credible medium de-markets where it operates and makes money. Irrespective of the ownership structure,  no station should constitute itself into an opposition political party.
It is surprising and a total lack of judgement of facts for Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM not to have realised that Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and Rivers people are into a positive developmental alliance.  This alliance is beyond the evil machinations of mischief makers.  Irrespective of the plot or deadly propaganda,  Rivers people will never be misled.
In case these Lebanese propaganda merchants have forgotten, the Nigerian Army and NTA teamed up a few days to the 2019 General Elections to unleash the worst propaganda onslaught against Governor Wike and the PDP.  This ungodly assault, funded by the APC,  failed woefully before the watchful eyes of all Nigerians.  Right inside the fortified compound of the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army,  the plot of the Army/NTA/APC was resisted by those abducted by the Nigerian Army.
Perhaps the Lebanese propaganda merchants have forgotten how the AAC/APC/ARMY alliance failed, despite the top level coordination and execution during the elections.
I am surprised that there is no institutional check within the Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM in Port Harcourt.  I am shocked that the Lebanese owners have not found it expedient to change the anti-Rivers agenda.  It has not worked and it will never work.
Nigeria Info and Wazobia FM, Port Harcourt should honourably leave the political arena and resume their place in the media space.  This continued assault on the sensibility of Rivers people is unfortunate; very regrettable.
We understand their affinity to the APC, but they should, at least, pretend by masking their bias.
Nwakaudu is Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on Electronic Media.

 

Simeon Nwakaudu

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100 Days In Office: Wike Remains Nigeria’s Best Performing Governor

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After the first 100 days of his well deserved second term, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has lived up to the expectations of the people of the State. By far, he remains the best performing Governor in Nigeria. This is a position he intends to maintain till the expiration of his second mandate.

Right from the beginning of his second term, Governor Wike set out with an agenda to maintain the good works of his administration. All through the key sectors, the Rivers State Governor continued to deliver the very best for Rivers people.

Taking his oath for a second term, Governor Wike outlined the key areas that his government would concentrate on to improve the living standard of the people. On his inauguration day, Governor Wike assured Rivers people that he will tackle security, environmental sanitation, job creation, further infrastructural development, quality education for the people, improve healthcare, develop agriculture and economic development.

Since May 29, 2019, Governor Wike has kept his promise to the people of Rivers State. He has continued with infrastructural development, enhanced the state’s security architecture, developed a framework for environmental sanitation and set the framework for general economic development.

 

His commitment to the rapid growth of Rivers State is growing by the day. The results of his administration’s investments are visible, even to the most critical opponents.

There are pointers that Governor Wike will continue to wax stronger in governance as he progresses in his second term. He has launched key programmes in the education, health and security sectors of the economy.

EDUCATION

One of the key achievements in the first one hundred days of Governor Wike’s second term is the abolishment of all forms of fees and levies in primary and secondary schools.

The Governor explained that his administration abolished all forms of fees to encourage less privileged parents to send their children to school.

By 2020, the Rivers State Government will commence the payment of fees for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) of Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) forms for all indigenes and non-indigenes in the state.

To improve the quality of education in the state, Governor Wike established the Committee for Accreditation and Approval of Private Schools. This committee has led to private schools improving the standard of their staff and facilities.

For public schools, Governor Wike has continued to develop quality facilities in the Basic, Senior Secondary and the Tertiary Education levels. Some of the projects executed across the education sector would be inaugurated as part of the governor’s first 100days.

HEALTH

The Health sector has received a major boost in Governor Wike’s First 100days in his second term . The administration has commenced the process of equipping recently completed Zonal Hospitals to take quality tertiary healthcare closer to the people.

The Zonal Hospital, Degema and Zonal Hospital, Bori, have been completed and the equipping process is ongoing. The final construction works at the Mother and Child Hospital are ongoing. The equipment of the Hospital are on ground for installation.

Governor Wike abolished the payment of user-fees for persons living with HIV/AIDS to ensure that more persons access treatment at state-owned health facilities. Governor Wike said that the state government will take over the payment of the user-fees to encourage more Rivers people to seek treatment for HIV/AIDS.

 

In the last 100days, the Rivers State Government has enterred into a partnership with the United States Centre for Disease Control to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike commended the United States Government for working with the State Government to reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the State.

Under this partnership, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) administered by the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. Department of Defense, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is implementing an Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) surge program in Rivers state to identify and provide treatment to approximately 180,000 PLHIV who have not previously received such.

Governor Wike has approved the commencement of public ambulance service by the State Ministry of Health. The Ambulances would be parked at strategic locations in major towns for the purpose of responding to distress calls. The phone numbers of the ambulance service have been circulated.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

In the course of the first 100 days in office, Governor Wike has executed two key projects that will enhance the economic development of Rivers State.

The Fruit Garden Market and the Rumuwoji (Mile One) Market in the heart of Port Harcourt, are two projects that will help in empowering traders, promote safety and environmental sanitation. The Markets are set for business after Commissioning and the traders are happy.

PROMOTION OF SECURITY

Across the country, insecurity has become the order of the day. This further heightened by the failure of the Federal Government to properly fund the Federal Security agencies.

To promote security of lives and property in the state, Governor Wike launched a new security architecture, codenamed Operation Sting. This is a modern security outfit with the relevant technology, funding and logistics to tackle insecurity.

The State Government donated 116 Patrol Vans fitted with communication equipment to Operation Sting. The Administration also donated 8 armoured fitted gunboats, to tighten coastal security and protect the state’s waterways from the activities of criminals; 2 Armoured Personnel Carriers for Police swift response actions; 450 hand-held mobile radios to enhance communication.

TASK FORCE ON STREET TRADING, ILLEGAL MARKETS AND MOTOR PARKS

In a bid to sanitise the streets and return Port Harcourt to its Garden City status, Governor Wike inaugurated the State Government’s Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal Markets and Motor Parks.

Inaugurating the Task Force   at the Government House Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said that the Task Force is a product of law, following his assent of the Rivers State Street Trading, Illegal Markets & Motor Parks (Prohibition) Bill No. 8 of 2019 .

The operatives of the Task Force were profiled by the Department of State Services and the Police.

The Task Force has started work. The results of their work have gladdened the hearts of Rivers people, with Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas regaining their beauty. The streets are wearing a new look with sanity and security .

Closely linked to this achievement is the improvement of environmental sanitation in the state capital.

COMMISSIONING OF PROJECTS

As part of the 100days in office, Governor Wike will inaugurate some completed projects in different parts of the state. These projects emphasise the importance of accountability and service to the people.

The projects lined up for inauguration include: Bonny Street, AdakaBoro/Elliot Henry Streets, Community Secondary School, Ubima Birabi Street , Rumukwurusi Elelenwo – Akpajo road and Sea bed Model School.

Others are: Rumuwoji Market, –   Government Craft Centre, Civil Servants Quarters, Real Madrid Academy; SUG Secretariat RSU , Fruit Garden Market , Rivers State NLC Labour Secretariat and Shell Location Road, Rumuepirikom.

MORE PROJECTS CLOSE TO INAUGURATION

After the first 100days of the second term, the Wike Administration will roll out another set of major projects undergoing finishing touches. These projects include the Mother and Child Hospital, the Government Secondary School, Abua, the Zonal Hospitals in Bori, Degema and Ahoada, Judges Quarters among others.

STILL RECREATING RIVERS STATE

The first 100days of Governor Wike’s second term has shown that the administration is still recreating the state. He is still in the business of building a new Rivers State.

The Governor is carefully applying scarce resources to ensure Rivers State gets value for money. It is obvious that the State is on the right path to the consolidation of development. Truly, Rivers people were right to insist of the re-election of Governor Wike.

 

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: NIGERIAN AMBA-SSADOR TO SPAIN APPLAUDS GOVERNOR WIKE

The Nigerian Ambassador to Spain, Susan Aderonke Folarin has commended the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike for his love for children.

She also applauded the governor for investing in the development of youths and also ensuring that the talents abound them do not go to waste.

Ambassador Folarin gave the commendation when she played host to the players of Banham Model School Port Harcourt who have been sponsored by the Rivers State Government on a two-week training programme to the prestigious Real Madrid Academy, Spain.

She urged the boys to be good Ambassadors of Nigeria wherever the future takes them.

Ambassador Folarin did not forget to applaud the efforts of their sponsor and Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike.

While thanking God for the privileges they’ve enjoyed, the boys also did not forget to thank the Rivers State Government for investing in them.

With their visit finally over, the boys then proceeded then headed back to the Real Maddrid Academy to continue with their training programme.

 

WE ARE DEVEL-OPING PORT HARCOURT PLEASURE PARK INTO A WORLD TOURIST ATTRACTION SAYS GOVERNOR WIKE

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that his administration is developing the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park into a major global tourist attraction.

Addressing journalists on Friday after inspecting the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park Cinema completed by his administration, Governor Wike said that key facilities are being developed to improve the quality of experience at the Park.

He described the new Cinema Constructed within the Park as a five star facility that raises the standard of entertainment available to people in the Niger Delta.

”We have just completed a five-star cinema within the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park. This cinema is about the best in the country.

”It will offer first class entertainment to the people of the region and beyond. Instead of going to Dubai for relaxation and tourism, you come over to Port Harcourt to enjoy the pleasure of this Park “, he said.

Governor Wike said that the Rivers State Government will continue to develop new facilities that will complement existing structures within the Port Harcourt Pleasure Park.

The Governor said that the new Cinema would be thrown open to the Public after the Commissioning programme on September 11, 2019.

He said that his administration is determined to ensure that the beauty of Port Harcourt is restored and Port Harcourt made a major tourism destination in the country.

Governor Wike expressed happiness that sanity is returning to the streets of Port Harcourt, with the Task Force on Street Trading, Illegal markets and motor Parks doing a splendid job.

Governor Wike also inspected ongoing projects in GRA and other parts of Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas.

He said that the administration will roll out several projects to mark the first one hundred days of his second term.

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

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