…disburses N2.5bn of N5bn grant to construct project
…Earmarks $100m for Nigeria, Africa fund for health, education social devt & renewal
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Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR-AI), in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State Government, held the groundbreaking and flagged off construction of the Akwa Ibom State University Teaching Hospital in the state.
Construction of the Akwa Ibom State University Teaching (AKSUTH) is being supported by a N5 billion ASR Africa Health Infrastructure Grant for which N2.5 billion was disbursed immediately to commence construction of the project.
The ASR Africa Initiative was established by African industrialist, philanthropist and founder of Nigeria’s BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, and seeks to support sustainable development initiatives in Health, Education and Social Development within Nigeria and the rest of Africa through its annual $100 million ‘Africa Fund for Social Development and Renewal’.
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, lauded the ASR Africa Initiative and its chairman, Abdul Samad Rabiu for the gesture; and promised to ensure the grant is put to good use. “We are happy to receive the first tranche of N2.5 billion from the ASR Africa Initiative; and today’s groundbreaking ceremony coming just two weeks after the N5 billion grant was announced, signposts the seriousness we attach to delivering a teaching hospital that would be a model for others, and one Nigeria would be proud of,” the governor said.
Ubon Udoh, Managing Director of ASR Africa, speaking at the AKSUTH groundbreaking ceremony, stated that the purpose of the gesture was to align with the government’s developmental plans for the people of the state.
“We earlier in the month announced a N5 billion grant to the state for healthcare and social development as part of our annual $100 million annual Africa Fund for Social Development and Renewal. Today, we have also handed over a first tranche of N2.5 billion to commence construction of the Teaching Hospital, which will be of international standards. This project, in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State Government, will be implemented and monitored fully in line with the ASR Africa Mutual Accountability Framework,” Udoh said.
Aliyu Idi Hong, representing the founder of ASR Africa Initiative, Abdul Samad Rabiu, said: “We have been across the length of the state, and we have seen the different developmental projects done by the state government in primary and secondary healthcare, especially in the areas of infrastructure, a referral system, health, education and human capacity development. What the ASR Africa initiative is simply doing, is filling in the gaps and joining the government in delivering comprehensive healthcare to the people. We believe that this hospital will go a long way in boosting the healthcare system of the state, whilst encouraging research and training a new generation of healthcare practitioners,” he said.
The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative seeks to support sustainable development initiatives in the Health, Education and Social Development within Nigeria and the rest of Africa, every year.