•Inaugurates N350m medical centre at Offa
•State seeks PPP to develop rural communities
Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Finance and Economy, Mrs. Serah Alade at the weekend decried the exodus of medical professionals out of country.
Also, the state governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq at the event lamented that no fewer than 170 medical professionals left the state civil service in the last three months for greener pastures.
Speaking at Offa town in Kwara state at the official inauguration of a N350 million medical center financed by the Offa Metropolitan Club (OMC), Alade who is also the president of the club said: “It is a health facility through which we seek to broaden access to world-class healthcare service delivery to Offa and Kwara state residents.”
She however said: “The indispensability of positive and proactive healthcare and the categorical indication that prioritisation of an efficient healthcare system is no longer optional.”
Alade, a former deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) added: “Nigeria’s health sector consistently loses its personnel to foreign lands because of a more conducive atmosphere and service conditions.”
While government must set the pace and bear the touch, Alade explained that, “the fiscal reality may continue to limit speedy transformation in the near term.
“The disappearing public fiscal buffer in developing countries like ours may constrain progress in public spending.
“It follows, therefore, that the mobilization of community participation in crucial growth enablers can no longer be neglected.”
According to her, “The edifice we have gathered to commission today is a landmark statement on the evolving new phase of collaborative development. It is a new regime of growth to which we are committed to stimulating community and overall development.
“OMC Medical Centre is today joining the ranks of successful community-led infrastructure in Kwara state and Nigeria, and its innovative management will hopefully become a model.
“To achieve our aspiration for the provision of quality world-class care and long-term viability, OMC shall partner with Clina Lancet Africa, who shall work with Lily Hospitals.
“Our partners are established and reputable organisations that share our objective, passion, and commitment. They will commence operations in phases, starting with a reference laboratory, and then expanding to other areas of care.
“OMC Medical Centre in partnership with Clina Lancet Africa will bring immense benefit to our people, town and State. The residents of Offa and environ shall access the best medical service using the facility on an inclusive basis.
“The facility management, as we envisage, shall adopt an innovative approach riding on quality government and community collaboration to isolate existing challenges in healthcare service delivery.
“We anticipate providing qualitative and competitive health insurance to boost and foster affordability and non-discriminatory use.”
Also speaking at the event, AbdulRazaq lamented that no fewer than 170 medical professionals left the state civil service in the last three months for greener pastures.
The govenror said, “Over the last three months, we have lost 170 doctors in the state service. That is one of the challenges you have getting qualified doctors and pay them right. The rate we are losing doctors and midwives is hemorrhaging. Most of those medical doctors that are still behind is mostly for family ties.
“The issue of patriotism has gone off the wind. It’s not just Kwara losing doctors. So many states are losing doctors.
“For us in Kwara, we are losing to the federal institutions, teaching hospitals, while others are losing to Lagos, Abuja and Lagos is losing to UK, America, Europe and so on. It’s a huge brain drain. That is one of the key major challenges that you have. Two major challenges here: one, the personnel, two, the equipment,” he said.
The governor, who was visibly excited over the project by the community, said that the state government would support the initiative for benefits of the people.
He also said the project would put pressure on the government facility sort of, saying that, “As government, we cannot come in and see institution like this and see our own dilapidated. It puts pressure on us to also make sure we do well on the government side.”
Meanwhile, AbdulRazaq, at the weekend called for public- private collaboration in order to enhance the socio economic development of Ilorin and other communities in the state.
Speaking at the 57th Annual National Conference of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU), the governor said: “It is a challenge for all of us. We are all members of the IEDPU and we should support them to achieve the set goals.
“I was in Kwara South yesterday(Saturday) to launch a hospital project by Offa Metropolitan Club.
“Let’s also make Ilorin greater; we should take the lead. By this time next year, IEDPU should be launching another project. It is a challenge for all of us.
“We need to commend the focus of the IEDPU. We used to come annually for the launch of calendar. But this year has changed and we are proud of that.
“The main focus for this year is the ICT centre. I dare say that we must support the IEDPU to make sure that by this time next year the ICT project is completed.”
He narrated how the capital city, Ilorin, was wearing new looks following government’s delivery of new roads and execution of many giant projects that the public could easily relate with.
The governor also commended the traditional ruler and the IEDPU for keeping the flag flying and said a lot needs to be done to make the capital city the number one positive reference point in Nigeria.
“Our administration remains committed to inclusive growth. Our goal is to make Ilorin one of the most celebrated capital cities in Nigeria and beyond. This is what informs the focus of our projects.
“I especially commend the Emir and the leadership of the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union for keeping the flag flying every year. We thank you for keeping the legacy of Sheikh Alimi evergreen
“By now we should be pointing to numerous community-sponsored projects in Ilorin. I am glad this has started already.
“On our part, we are trying to change the face of Ilorin. You can see interlocking pavements taking place all over the town under our urban renewal programme.
“We are dualising the Yebumot/Oloje road; we are fixing Adeta/Pakata road; and Pakata/Oja-Oba road project; Old and New Yidi road. We will keep doing our best to make sure we transform Ilorin,” he added.
National President for IEDPU, Alhaji Aliyu Otta Uthman, said the cultural activity was organised to converse, consult and harvest thoughts on issues of local, national and International dimensions for the good of the Ilorin community and the nation at large.