Oyo State Government has said that it will hold its N50bn endowment on Thursday, August 3, 2017, assuring that the fund will be used for infrastructural upgrade of 679 health facilities in the state.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan, who disclosed this on Thursday during a Press Conference held at the Conference Theatre of the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Ibadan, stated that the fund will be utilized for the establishment of a cardiovascular center which will provide up-to-date routine and emergency care in a bid to reduce sudden deaths arising majorly from cardiovascular causes.
Dr Adeduntan, in company of his counterpart from Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun and the Consultant on the N50bn Endowment Fund, Dr Bola Olaosebikan, noted that the fund will also be used for the upgrade of existing secondary health facilities in the 33 LGAs and the primary care facilities in the 351 wards of the State as well as engagement of qualified medical personnel for the afore-mentioned health facilities.
According to him, “the State has already commenced the construction of five (5) secondary level facilities in five (5) LGAs previous without such facilities. Presently, construction of these facilities is at various levels, but the Fund will adequately allow for full completion. Also, it will ensure that there is availability of up-to-date equipment for use in these hospitals.”
The commissioner further explained that the endowment fund will be used for infrastructural upgrade of 57 hospitals and 622 Primary Health Care centres, assuring that the fund will be administered with utmost transparency and accountability.
Dr Adeduntan expatiated that the fund will be managed in a public purse separate from Government account by a Board of Trustees comprising notable Nigerians led by renowned Professor of Medicine, Chief Oladipo Akinkugbe, stressing that the first phase of the endowment activities will span the next two (2) years with the possibility of extension.
Dr. Adeduntan explained “since all other vital sectors of the economy in the State are also competing for attention at the same time with the health sector, the government had no other alternative than to call on individuals, corporate organizations and well-meaning indigenes of the State to donate generously towards N50billion health endowment fund. We need the support of well meaning Nigerians to take our health sector to the next level.”
Speaking at the Press Conference, the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun noted that the Senator Abiola Ajimobi administration met health care services in a bad state, saying however that the sector has been revamped and free medical services provided to over one million citizens.
He reiterated that the present administration has placed health care delivery on the front burner, noting that there is need for concerted efforts to ensure the sector is not moribund and static.
In his own address, the Consultant of the project, Dr. Bola Olaosebikan, who noted that the Endowment fund is the first of its kind in Nigeria, commended the State Government for supporting the lofty idea and assured that many organizations from within and in the Diaspora are ready to contribute to the fund.