Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
History was made yesterday when the Ondo State government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a German outfit, Medicus International, to establish Sunshine Medical City worth $1.1 billion.
Signing the agreement at the Governor’s Lodge, Abuja, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu assured that the government was already on the verge of securing 100 hectares of land close to the airport for the project.
The Mou was signed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Ifedayo Abegunde while the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Medicus International, Frank Spriewald, signed on behalf of the company.
The governor said while he was in Germany negotiating how to attract medical project, he did not know that one was at home waiting for him.
“I am more than convinced that Medicus has good intention. And as I told them when they came, I said coincidentally, about few weeks ago I was in Germany myself and I saw their structure. When I was in Berlin, I was talking to another medical organisation to bring their facility to Ondo State. I was negotiating with them not knowing that someone else is already waiting for this
“No doubt, we are interested in this. We have made efforts. We are already working on how to secure a land close the airport. It is an interesting thing.
“We are prepared to cooperate and we know that this sort of thing is to be done with a joint venture. The interest of Ondo State is there. We are putting land. The joint venture itself will come up.
“You know that anything that has to do with government, I can give you assurance that I have spoken with my SA on Land and he has started looking for land not too far from the airport. We will give you land very near to the airport,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Special Adviser on Health, Dr. Jibayor Adeyeye, had revealed that the project will not come as any cost to government.
Facilitator of the project, Oludare Bello, said: “The time of execution of this project is 36 months when first operation will commence, however, the project is going to be completed in 48 months.
“It is a specialised hospital that will cater for all facets of healthcare. We will ensure that it is likely going to be close to the airport in Akure because the hospital is going to have its helicopter to evacuate people from time to time. It is not going to be limited to Akure, it is going to serve other states that will visit the hospital and get medication. It is not going to be like the normal hospital because there is going to be other facilities like conference halls, cinema halls, Teaching hospital, technical school that can handle all the medical equipment for the hospital. There will also be a recuperating centre where people can walk around. It is going to be one of a kind in Nigeria.”