Worried by the state of health facilities in the state, the Niger state government on Thursday declared a state of emergency on the health sector with a view to repositioning the sector for better service delivery.
To this end, it has earmarked the sum of two billion Naira to upgrade five out of the 16 general hospitals in the state which have been left unattended to for the past ten years in the first phase of the project.
Briefing journalists after the State Executive Council meeting in Minna, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mustapha Jibrin, said that the government inherited what he called “moribund” health facilities across the state from the immediate past administration in the state.
He disclosed that the immediate past government in the state expended well over N5billion to build three general hospital in Gulu, Nasko and Wuse areas of the state, but only the one in Wuse was functional.
Those that will benefit from the first phase of the hospital rehabilitation project include the Suleja, Kontagora, Mokwa, Kagara and Minna general hospitals, while all the remaining ones would be attended to in the second phase of the project.
The Commissioner further disclosed that following the inadequate health personnel in the state-owned hospitals, and to ensure quick service delivery, the state government has employed an additional 40 medical doctors, 70 nurses and 10 hospital workers since the inception of the present administration.
He described the current situation where one doctor attends to nine patients as unacceptable.
He said that the state government has approved the immediate payment of the 100% salary structure for all categories of all health workers being enjoyed by their counterpart in other states across the country.
The House of Representatives has proposed the construction of a perimeter fence with sensors and cameras to check illegal influx of foreigners into the country.
The house at its proceedings on Thursday, directed its Committee on Immigration to work with the Ministry of Interior and Immigration service for the construction of the border fence.
The motion which was moved by Hassan Saleh, was unanimously adopted following the spate of insecurity in some parts of the country.
The motion also proposed better working conditions for those posted to the nation’s borders.
The lawmakers are particularly concerned about the influx of foreigners through the nation’s borders and they resolved that urgent steps must be taken to check this trend.
Meanwhile, a bill for an act to amend the 2013 Appropriation Act to authorise the release of N4.9trillion from the consolidated revenue fund was put on hold.
The Speaker of the house, Aminu Tambuwal suggested that appropriate steps must be taken by the budget office so that the 2013 supplementary budget is not affected.
Another matter which came up for discussion by the lawmakers is the need to curtail the activities of piracy on the nation’s water ways.
The house mandated the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) as well as other health agencies to provide relief materials for survivors of tanker collusion in Mokwa, Niger state.
Over 47 persons and farm products worth billions of naira has been lost in Niger State this year as a result of floods in the state.
The Director General of Niger State Emergency Agency (NSEMA), Muhammed Shaba, in an exclusive interview with Channels Television in Minna, disclosed that over 1, 000 families had been displaced by the flood which affected over 500 communities across the state.
He added that the state government has set up relief camps in five local governments of Mokwa, Lavun, Munya, Edati, and Wushishi to cater for the immediate needs of the over 5, 000 thousands displaced persons
Mr Shaba, while calling on the federal government to come to the aid of the displaced people who have lost their livelihood to incessant flooding across the state, however said that the state government has put in measures to avert a re-occurrence of the sad development.