The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has reiterated its readiness to partner Akwa Ibom Government in the opening of Ibom Specialist Hospital, Uyo.
The hospital built by ex-Governor Godswill Akpabio administration was shut down last month.
During the monthly House prayer meeting Saturday last week held at the Latter House, Government House, Uyo, Governor Udom Emmanuel explained that the hospital was closed down due to the inability of the management of the hospital to meet some terms of contractual agreement.
Speaking in an interview with Atlantic 140.5 FM in Uyo, Mr. Uwem Udoma, Special Assistant to the Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission on General Duties, recalled that the commission had donated a 500-kva generator to the hospital before its closure.
Udoma noted “I learnt the hospital is having challenges. Honestly speaking, if the state government would come to partner NDDC in operating the hospital, we are going to rush down immediately, because we know the amount of money we spend to send people abroad for kidney transplant and people with liver problems to India and Germany.
And by the time they come back, it runs to about N400 – N500 million at a particular time. At the moment, there are many requests at the MD’s office, but the funds budgeted for in 2016 have been exhausted. If we have this hospital in place, we would partner the state government. The N5 million we spend in India, we will only use N450,000 here in Uyo. I am looking at getting collaboration with the state government, so that we can get that hospital alive. We should not allow that hospital to die.”
On funding of primary schools, he stated that about 120 schools were provided for in NDDC 2016 budget. And I want the Ministry of Education in Akwa Ibom to always interface with us. We should uplift the educational standards in the state to be at par with other states. If our pupils are to write Junior or Senior WAEC examinations, they should be at par with others in other states. If the commissioner finds out that he has limited funds to repair any school whether primary or secondary, he can send some to NDDC. We are going to capture it.”
Speaking on assisting the Ministry of Health, Udoma called on the commissioner for Health to come up with certain areas they need assistance in rehabilitating hospitals from NDDC, because we need health before we can stand to work for our economy to work.
According to him, “A local government council that is trying to build a new secretariat and is limited by funds can approach NDDC for assistance as long as it is for the good of the people. NDDC will assist you get that job completed.
If we discover that most of most motor parks are not functioning, we can local government provided it comes to us for partnership. All these are provided for in the NDDC’s Act, and we are here to make governance simple so people enjoy its benefits. There is need for Local Government chairmen to partner NDDC in terms of providing basic infrastructures and amenities at the rural areas such as boreholes and health care facilities. If their police stations are dilapidated, we will do it free of charge.”