Former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, called on federal and state governments to strengthen health infrastructure, saying that the health of Nigerians is a key feature of national security.
According to Jonathan, the COVID-19 pandemic has opened the eyes of people worldwide to the importance of the health status of a nation, adding that health was the right of every human.
Speaking on Tuesday during the commissioning of the remodelled Ikot Ekpene General Hospital Phase 1, the former president praised the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel for renovating the 117 years old medical facility.
He said: “Let me thank the governor for making it possible for me to link with this project, a hospital that has history, that has been completely renovated, redesigned, reconfigured for effective health care delivery.
“We commend the governor because health is key. When you are talking about national security, health security is quite prominent. The COVID-19 pandemic has opened the eyes of everybody, be you professionals, politicians, administrators, that health in the nation is key.
“We have to do everything possible to strengthen the infrastructure to deliver the health needs and based on UN provisions, health is a human right issue; we thank the governor for providing this facility.
“The facility still looking this way shows that the people are decent and committed to seeing development, we encourage you to continue to work with the governor and encourage him to do more and I believe the governor will do more in the next two years,” he stated.
Also speaking, Emmanuel said the inauguration of the General Hospital was a fulfilment of his campaign promise to establish world-class secondary health care facilities in all the 10 Federal Constituencies in the state.
Emmanuel who was represented at the event by the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo revealed that so far, nine of the hospitals have been remodelled, adding that renovation work was still ongoing at the Ikot Abasi General Hospital.
Ekpo stated that the government has committed huge resources to the upgrading of its health care facilities in the belief that health was one of the three fundamental elements that determine and shape the social contract between the government and the people.
“The commissioning of this General Hospital is a fulfilment of a campaign promise I made, to establish world-class secondary health care facilities (general hospitals) in all Ten Federal Constituencies in the State. With today’s event, we have completed and commissioned to the glory of God, all but one, (Ikot Abasi) whose work is ongoing.
“We have committed enormous resources in upgrading or reconstruction of health care facilities, given my acute belief that three fundamental elements determine and shape the Social Contract: Security of lives and property, healthy population and manpower development (education). We have tackled these three crucial areas with messianic zeal and the results are there for any discerning or dispassionate mind and eye to see.
“We are building a future for a new Akwa Ibom State, where industrialisation, infrastructure, human capital development, healthcare or what I call the soft infrastructure will stand us out as a reference point of how to utilise the resources available to impact lives and create sustainable growth,” he stated