Gov Uba Sani laments neglect of 32 general hospitals in Kaduna

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By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Governor, Uba Sani of Kaduna state has said that 32 general hospitals in the state have been abandoned without renovation in the last 20 years, a situation that unfortunately makes citizens travel to neighbouring states for medical care.

The Governor who stated this while addressing stakeholders from the 23 local government areas of the state also said that over 1,500 schools in the eight frontline local government areas of the state have no fences.

Sani also lamented that most of the hospitals were in a sorry state of disrepair. He however, stated that his administration has resolved to, in the first phase, remodel, reconstruct, and re-equip six of the general hospitals, two in each of the three senatorial zones of the state.

The Governor also disclosed that, as part of efforts to complement the government’s commitment to implementing the Safe School Initiative, two prominent Kaduna-based business moguls, Alhaji Adamu Atta of Fifth Chucker and Alhaji Bukar Shettima of Barbados, are to build fences for 100 schools.

“One of the major areas of focus for our government is healthcare. In the last month, I have received reports from our Deputy Governor, who is one of the most prominent and established public health specialists in Nigeria, that our 32 general hospitals in Kaduna, as we speak, are most of them not functional.

“Because of that, most of the patients from Kaduna have to travel to some neighbouring states for medical attention. This is unacceptable. And that is why we have decided to remodel and reconstruct at least six of the 32 general hospitals. This project will start, by the grace of God, on Monday, that is, in the next few days.

“These general hospitals that we are remodelling and reconstructing are General Hospital Rigasa, General Hospital Maigana, General Hospital Gwantu, General Hospital Kafanchan, General Hospital Giwa, and General Hospital Ikara.

“The reason we believe we have to invest in healthcare, particularly at the secondary healthcare level, is simply because most of these hospitals I mentioned have not been given attention in the last 20 years, and that is the reason they are in their current situation.

“We are also focusing on education because we believe education is the greatest enabler. That is the only thing we can give to the children of the poor, and they would be anything they want to be. This is why we are also investing heavily in the area of education.

“But because of the unfortunate incident that happened in Kuriga, where about 137 children were kidnapped, we saw the situation of the school, then we embarked on the assessment of all our schools, particularly our junior secondary schools and primary schools, and the result was very pathetic, because before us today in Kaduna state, we have over 1,500 schools that need to be fenced in line with the Safe School Initiative.

“For this reason, I approached some well-meaning citizens of the state, particularly in the private sector, and as we speak, two of our prominent citizens here in Kaduna, namely Kashim Bukar, the owner of Barbados, as well as Adamu Atta, the owner of Fifth Chucker, have decided to fence 100 schools. We thank them for their effort and support.

“Most of those schools I mentioned are very important, but they are only in about eight local governments of the state; we are only talking about eight local governments that have problems of insecurity, not the entire 23 local government areas. This is why, as a government, we believe we must protect our schools and our children, and we will ensure we adhere to the Safe School Initiative.

“Most of the people that spoke here talked about some of the important roads in the state that need to be completed. I want to announce here that our brother, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Tajudeen Abbas, approached me a few days ago and promised, as the Speaker, to take some of the crucial roads in Zaria that have not been completed and complete them. That is his own contribution, and we must commend him. That is why all of us supported him to ensure his emergence as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and we are proud of him.

“We have also started attracting other support from development partners; the German embassy is also supporting us; the African Development Bank is supporting us; and the office of the Vice President only three weeks ago intervened to support our ginger farmers, who lost a lot of produce because of the epidemic that destroyed most of their farms.

“We are also partnering with other development partners to enhance agriculture value chains and support our farmers so that they can have access to credit.

“Close to that, we made it clear at the inception of the administration that we would focus on rural revitalization because we believe we must construct roads in our rural communities so that our farmers can take their produce from the farms to the market,” the governor said.

Sani, who also identified security as the most important area of focus for his administration, applauded the service chiefs, particularly the Chief of Defence Staff, for establishing a military base in Kachia and promising to do the same in Giwa, Lere, and Birnin Gwari LGAs, as well as the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, who gave the state two armoured personnel carriers (APCs) and a 200-man mobile special squad to enhance security and increase the number of boots on the ground.

Earlier, as usual, most of the stakeholders applauded the Uba Sani-led government for its developmental strides, especially the rural revitalization projects. They also appealed for the continuation of abandoned road projects under the previous administration’s Urban Renewal programme.

In attendance at the meeting were the Deputy Governor, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, Speaker of the State Assembly, Hon. Liman Dahiru, APC State Chairman, Air Commodore Emmanuel Jekada (rtd), Commissioners and other cabinet members, Chairman of the 23 Local Government Areas, some members of the House of Representatives and state assembly, political appointees, as well as stakeholders from the 23 local government areas.

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