From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Executive Council has given approval for the State to access its share of the Healthcare Support Credit Facility Fund established by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The approval was given at its meeting that was presided over by Governor Nyesom Wike at Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, Commissioner for Finance, Isaac Kamalu said that CBN floated the fund in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic to cushion the impact of COVID-19 on both national and sub-national economies.
Kamalu pointed out that council wants the State to participate and has, therefore, approved that it access the N2. 5 billion Healthcare Support Credit Facility Fund from the CBN.
“The N2.5 billion is structured into two components. N2 billion will be for healthcare infrastructure support and N500 million as revolving credit for medical consumables.”
Kamalu explained that Rivers State Government intends to use the fund to establish a world class Radiotherapy Center and Department at the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Treatment and Diagnostic Center in Port Harcourt.
Part of the money, he said, would also be channeled towards the upgrading of healthcare facilities at the Prof. Kesley Harrison Hospital and the Dental and Maxillofacial Hospital in Port Harcourt.
“As you are aware, the facility has been utilised by virtually all the States and Rivers State is among the few that are yet to utilise the facility.
“So, government has, in its wisdom, thought it necessary that this facility should be accessed so that members of the public, as well as those living in the state can utilise the outcome of this in terms of medical service provision.”
On his part, the Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi informed that council approved the sum of N8.2 billion for the construction of the 10th flyover at Rumuokwurushi-Elimgbu axis in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the State.
Tasie-Amadi said the project that is scheduled for completion within 12 months, will immensely benefit various sectors of the economy of the State, members of the public and particularly real estate developers.
“The total length is 840 meters comprising 526.5 meters bridge and 313 meters of transition zone to the bridge. The width is 17.6 meters in dual carriage configuration and it will feature service lanes, middle terms, pedestal crossing, streets and traffic lights.
In his briefing, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, noted that the approval by council has given impetus for an expansion of existing healthcare facilities and revamp of moribund ones that will further serve the healthcare needs of Rivers people.