The President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has performed the ground breaking ceremony of the College of Health Sciences and University Teaching Hospital, Akwete-Akpa, Otukpo, Benue State.
The ceremony, performed by Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, was held on Wednesday, at the hometown of the Senate President, Senator David Mark.
At the event President Jonathan said, the project, which was the baby of the Senate President, was not only to provide the country with the much needed manpower in the health sector, but was to also bring world class healthcare delivery services to the people, adding that the administration recognizes the fact that “healthy citizens translate to higher life expectancy, more productivity and greater development.”
According to him, “The choice of this location for the Teaching Hospital was informed by the need to bring this level of health services closer to the people without having to travel long distances to access the services.”
“This Teaching Hospital being established today, when fully operational, shall offer tertiary health services to the good people of Benue State, its catchment areas and the Nation in general. Moreover, I am excited at the prospects of the high-level manpower this institution will produce for the country in various specialised fields of health in the years to come,” he further added.
President Jonathan particularly thanked the people of Akwete-Akpa for the provision of the 600 hectares of land for the construction of the health institutions of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, which he noted had the necessary facilities to accommodate the new campus.
The President gave his commitment to continue to provide quality healthcare services to Nigerians through adequate service delivery, the provision of critical infrastructure and human capacity development.
Speaking the Senate President, David Mark, said the event was of unique importance to him, He was full of appreciation to the President, stressing that the Transformation Agenda, had become a household name in the mouth of the Nigerians.
He appealed to the people to cooperate with the contractors and project managers to ensure the speedy completion of the projects, which he said was highly beneficial to them.
In his remarks, the Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, described President Jonathan as a silent achiever, who had done well for the people of Benue. He emphasized that the project was a PDP project, conceived by PDP government.
In their separate remarks the Minister of Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, The Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Morro, the Chairman of the Presidential Implementation Committee, Prof. E. E. Okpere and the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Chief Chike Udenze, while lauding the project, stressed that it will stem medical tourism, provide the much needed manpower and create more jobs for the people.
When completed the project will bring to 21 the number of teaching hospitals in the country. The project was approved in year 2014 by the The President and it is a partnership between the University, the Federal Ministries of Health and Education as well as the National Universities Commission (NUC), and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
Vice President Sambo during the visit paid courtesy calls on the Tor Tiv, Dr. Alfred Torkura and the Och’Idoma IV, Agaba-Idu Elias Ikoyi.
FOR: UMAR SANI (SSA MEDIA AND PUBLICITY TO THE VICE PRESIDENT)