Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has said the state is crucial to the prosperity and economic well-being of the country, given its vast potential and strategic location.
He hinged his position on what he called the contiguous location of the state to Lagos, touted as the economic nerve centre of the country, and as the gateway to the other parts of the country, especially the Northern part.
The governor spoke at the handing over ceremony of the refurbished Maternal Ward of the Adeoyo Maternity Teaching Hospital, Yemetu, Ibadan, by the MTN Foundation Maternal Ward Support project, in Ibadan, on Wednesday.
Aside being the largest producer of cassava in Nigeria, he said that the state also had the largest concentration of agricultural research institutes as well as vast arable land.
He also said the state is blessed with human and material resources, all of which he said had put it in a good stead to be a destination of choice for investors.
The governor stressed the need for corporate organizations in Nigeria to key into the public-private-partnership initiative of his administration to give back to the society, as well as to improve the living standard of the common people.
Ajimobi said: “The greatest form of Godliness is service to humanity and MTN deserves commendation for putting up this project in spite of the challenging times.
“MTN has done its best to uphold the legacy of this hospital by putting up this project here and in three other health facilities across the state.
“I use this opportunity to challenge other corporate organizations to partner the government in the areas of education and health. If they can do this the country will be a better place for all of us to live in.’’
While reiterating his administration’s commitment to good healthcare delivery, Ajimobi disclosed that the state’s Health Insurance Scheme for workers would soon be flagged off.
He urged the private sector not to ignore its corporate social responsibility to the state on health, education, and other social services.
The Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole, who was represented by the Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Prof. Temitope Alonge, said there was no better time for corporate organizations to support government than now and appreciated MTN Foundation’s gestures.
Alonge saluted the courage and resilience of the state government in improving healthcare delivery, urging the governor to consider the introduction of a Health Insurance Scheme for workers.
In his welcome address, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Azeez Adeduntan, reiterated the importance of maternal healthcare, especially at a period when Nigeria was facing economic hardship and echoed the call for PPP on health and other important sectors of the society.
He said: “We can now see the importance of PPP in the health sector. We appreciate the MTN Foundation for fulfilling its corporate social responsibility by assisting us in reducing maternal mortality through this project.
“It is noteworthy that maternal mortality in Nigeria is 165 out of every 100,000 due to lack of access to basic necessities. Today, countries are no more judged by their per capita income, but by their maternal mortality rate and support towards reducing infant mortality.
Four health institutions in the state that benefited from the project are Adeoyo Maternity Teaching Hospital, Yemetu, Ibadan; Ring-Road State Specialist Hospital, Ibadan; the State Hospital, Oyo; and General Hospital, Igbeti.
Each of the hospitals will be equipped with 20 hospital beds with cardiac rest, 20 standard hospital mattresses, 20 standard hospital bed pillows, ten four-way foldable ward screens and 20 metal bedside cupboards.
Other equipment are 20 visitors’ chairs, ten drip stands, 20 hydraulic over-bed tables, ten height-adjustable baby cots and two baby incubators.
A Director with the MTN Foundation, Mr. Denis Okoro, disclosed the foundation’s happiness in partnering Oyo State in providing basic necessities needed to reduce maternal mortality and provide a lasting positive impact on the overall health indicators in the country.
He disclosed that the foundation had also extended similar gesture to some states in the country, adding that 6,000 students were on scholarship of the foundation across the country.
Okoro noted that students being sponsored by the foundation have been turning out as best graduating students of their institutions to underscore the efforts of the foundation at raising the bar in education standard.
Also at the event was the Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Ms Nonny Ugboma.