By Abdulkareem Haruna
The Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) was on Thursday, June 16, commended for the role it played in the installation of two oxygen plants and 23 solar direct refrigerators in Borno hospitals.
Borno state got its first-ever two sets of oxygen plants that were donated to the Nigerian government by the Government of Japan.
The project was implemented by the United Nations for Projects Services (UNOPS) at the cost of $2.3 million.
NEDC played a pivotal role by folding the entire bill for clearing the donated facilities including the payment of the customs duties.
Deputy Governor of Borno state, Usman Kadafur, who commissioned the project commended the NEDC and other partners who made the project a reality.
The UNOPS singled out the NEDC as being one of the local partners that facilitated the establishment of the two oxygen plants and the 23 solar direct refrigerators meant for vaccine preservation.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Oxygen Plant reminded the public that the NEDC was charged with the role of coordinating projects and programs for the rehabilitation, resettlement, reconciliation, reconstruction and sustainable development of the Northeast zone in the fields of infrastructure, human and social services, including healthcare, and nutrition, is to support all efforts made by both international and local development partners to improve quality of life of our citizens.
“It is in pursuit of this objective that we are happy to work with the government of Japan and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to strengthen the healthcare system in Borno state, which culminated in today’s handover ceremony for this project,” the GM said.
He added that “the Commission graciously supported the project by offsetting customs duties and other seaport clearance costs in respect of the solar refrigerators and oxygen plants being handed over here.”
The GM added that the advent of COVID-19 in Nigeria necessitated the need to ensure health facilities in the northeast are equipped to combat infectious diseases even beyond the pandemic.
“The Commission appreciates the humanitarian gesture of the government of Japan by providing these facilities through a $2.3 million grant to improve the healthcare system in Borno state, which the NEDC is glad to key into,” the GM said.
Mr Alkali reminded the public that NEDC supported the healthcare system in the six Northeast States by providing molecular testing laboratories, ambulances, hospital facilities, medication and consumables, construction and rehabilitation of primary health care centres, and execution of projects in secondary and tertiary health institutions, among others.
He said the masterplan developed by the commission focuses on addressing the critical infrastructure deficits, funding need and human resource challenges.
“It is hoped that our partners will join us in uplifting the northeast to become a region where the health and wellbeing of the populace will be improved to favourably compete with other regions in the country,” MD Alkali said.
He concluded that “the commission will continue to strengthen our cooperation and partnership with Borno state government by building on the laudable achievement of HE Professor Babagana Zulum.”.