By Aboje Anefu, Makurdi
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commissioned a 120-bed mother and child hospital in Makurdi, Benue state capital.
The health facility was built by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Abuja.
The president who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federal, SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha, said that the facility was fully equipped with state of the arts equipment, stressing that it was a practical way to address the maternal and child mortalities in the country.
“Nigeria is one of the countries with the highest mortality rates and with the commissioning of the project both the maternal as well as child mortalities will be reduced,” the president said.
He disclosed that 15 of such facilities were completed in other states awaiting commissioning while 12 were at various stages of completion.
The president advised Benue sons and daughters to join forces with him to rebuild the country after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gov. Samuel Ortom commended the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President (OSSAP) on SDGs for approving the project and ensuring its full completion.
Represented by his deputy, Engr Benson Abounu, Ortom assured that the state government would continue to ensure seamless execution of SDGs projects in the state.
He disclosed that the state government had donated another piece of land close to the hospital for building of Doctors Quarters.
He promised to link the hospital with the Benue State University Teaching Hospital for better operation and utilization of the facility.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Mr George Akume, said the execution of the project was timely considering the Covid-19 pandemic, stressing that it would contribute in no small measure to the improvement of quality health in the state.
“This will help in producing active and healthy citizens that can contribute to the development of the society as well as access affordable and quality health care,” Akume said.
Also, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, urged the Benue State Government and other state governments benefitting from such interventions to make judicious use of the facilities in a sustainable way for the benefit of mothers and children.
“We will continue to prioritize interventions with potential impacts on the lives of the poor and vulnerable members of our society, so that no ‘Nigerian is left behind’.
“It is imperative to mention that in Benue the OSSAP on SDGs has provided 19 projects in education sector; seven projects in water & sanitation; four in infrastructure; two in clean & affordable energy; and this Mother and Child Centre we are commissioning today,” she said.
The Special Assistant to Ortom on SDGs, Prof. Magdalene Dura, disclosed that the state had so far contributed N1.4 billion as counterpart fund to SDGs.
Dura further appealed to well meaning individuals to come to the aid of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state who were over 1.5 million, stating that they have stayed too long in the camps and needed to be resettled in their ancestral homes.
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