By; BALA B. BITRUS, Minna
Niger State Governnent is to receive a direct foreign aid of $330 million from the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Development Cooperation, an international Arab donor body.
The fund according to Niger State Government would be used to establish a teaching hospital at the state owned Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai.
The aide is package under the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development Cooperation as assistance to the state but details and conditionalities to draw down the assistance have not been revealed by the state government.
Commissioner of Finance in the state, Abubakar Zakari who announced this to the press, said the establishment of a teaching hospital at the state university would go a long way in training medical Doctors to bridge the shotfall and dearth in professional health care personnel in the country.
Abubakar Zakari explained however that the fund is not a credit facility but an assistance from the Kuwaiti Arab Economic Development Cooperation.
The amount when converted to naira, amounts to N120 billion and it would be used to set up the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Teaching Hospital within the university.
He said the modalities for drawing down the fund/assistance was being handled by the federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning Commission which is the statutory body to smoothen all grey areas concerning such foreign aide and assistance to any state.
In a related development, Niger state government has expressed willingness to continue to leverage on the existence of the Federal Medical Centre, Bida, (FMCB) to avail citizens of the state of high class tertiary health care delivery services of the centre.
Governor Abubakar Sani Bello said while receiving the members of the management board of the FMCB in his office during the board’s visit to him that the state would continue to partner the medical centre to improve on the health care needs of the state by availing the citizens of the quality, efficient and effective health care delivery services of the centre.
He said he would continue to support the health centre because it has assisted in handling referral cases from different hospitals in the state. He assured the board members of his administration’s support in ensuing that the health care delivery facilities at the centre were were made available and protected.
The governor hinted that there was the need for more areas of corporation and partnership between the state and the centre. “It is our duty to support the centre because of its value and importance. Some serious health challenges and cases are referred to the centre.
He said despite the financial constraints if the state, “we will continue to give you our full support”.
He however called on the management board to ensure the maintenance of facilities as well as maintain good hygiene at the centre. He similarly tasked the management board to ensure a better working condition for staff for harmonious industrial atmosphere.
Chairman of Board, Is’haq Umaru, commended the governor for his support to the centre but solicited for more assistance to enable the centre discharge it’s mandates as a federal referral health care delivery facility.
Just last week, the state governor had approached the state House of Assembly to intimate it of his plans to obtain a Sukuk bond of over N22 billion for infrastructure provision and development.
The state has an outstanding backlog of unpaid N8.5 billion from a similar capital market facilities obtained by the immediate past administration in the state.