Grant will enable state government equip hospital
The Edo State government is set to undertake an upgrade, expansion, and equipping of the new Stella Obasanjo Hospital in Benin City to a 250-bed specialist hospital with the support of a N2.5 billion donation by the Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa).
The ASR initiative is a philanthropic organisation founded by Abdul Samad Rabiu, executive chairman of BUA and the donation makes Edo State the fourth state after Sokoto, Ogun and Kwara states to receive a N2.5 billion grant from ASR Africa’s N10 billion Tertiary Systems Support Grants Scheme for 2021, drawn from the annual ASR Africa $100 million fund for social development and renewal.
Presenting the grants award letter to Governor Godwin Obaseki at Government House in Benin, Edo State, Ubon Udoh, managing director, ASR Africa Initiative said the healthcare grant was in fulfilment of the pledge made by Abdul Samad Rabiu in June 2021 when he specifically set aside 10 billion Naira for tertiary healthcare interventions in four states in Nigeria.
Udoh further explained that the philanthropic organisation would commence the donation by putting an initial deposit of N1.25 billion in a joint account between ASR Africa and the Edo State Government.
“I want to assure you that this is the beginning of a partnership between ASR and the Edo State Government,” he added.
The ASR Africa managing director also commended the governor for his commitment to healthcare development at all levels within the state, noting that the N2.5 billion grant will go a long way in raising the standard of care accessible in the region.
In his remark, Obaseki thanked the ASR Africa Initiative for the grant and reiterated his administration’s commitment towards improving the healthcare system in the state.
The governor stated that his government decided to improve healthcare delivery in the state by renovating, improving, and upgrading the Stella Obasanjo Hospital to a 250-bed hospital, stressing that new buildings and services are being added to support the existing complex.
“We are very concerned about healthcare in Nigeria with the post-COVID-19 economy. We are determined to make Edo a healthcare hub in Nigeria,” he said.
The governor also disclosed that the state can muster up to five thousand doctors in different specialisations to complement the facilities to be provided for the healthcare sector.
According to him, the healthcare system is really about the people and if the people engaged are not properly trained, then the equipment will just be fancy for tourism.