Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on Friday formally received the medical equipment and hospital-related items donated to the Kwara state government by some indigenes of the state, who are living in the United States of America.
The formal presentation of the medical equipment to the state government took place at the state Ministry of Health. Ilorin with speakers at the event submitting that this had been made possible because the governor has brought government ‘closer to the Diaspora community’.
Giving his speech, the governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health , Dr Raji Razaq said he had from the beginning of his administration prioritized public health while noting that he was pleased to be associated with the Kwarans living abroad, who had made the donation possible.
Abdulrazaq said he was highly impressed and thanked the donors ‘for providing succour to our people in Kwara state’ while submitting that his administration had always prioritized public health.
‘On our part, the health sector has remained one of the priority areas and the means through which we have reached out to the majority of our people in respect of the dividends of democratic governance. I am happy to inform you as well that the resources and strategies that we have deployed at addressing the multiple gaps and unacceptable health indices that we had met on assumption of office have since yielded positive results.
The human resource challenges are also being addressed through routine recruitment to replace and provide appropriate strength of workforce while their salary packages have been duly improved and made regular.
Infrastructure-wise, we are still on course as over 50 healthcare facilities have received the transformation touch of this administration. Basic and social medical equipment and gadgets have also been procured to enhance treatment of common ailments and diseases of all public health importance. We are elated to say both the primary and the secondary health systems have been reinvigorated while we have repackaged and upscaled infrastructure, equipment and services at the Ilorin General Hospital in readiness for a tertiary medical healthcare at the state- owned teaching hospital’ he said.
The governor also noted that collaboration and partnership with relevant stakeholders and consequent payment of counterpart funds had since enhanced healthcare services.
‘ Some of these include the malaria elimination programme, the accelerated nutrition result in Nigeria, immunization, basic healthcare provision fund and of recent, the aim act project where at least one primary healthcare in each of the 193 wards shall receive N4.6m direct funding from the World Bank -coordinated programme.
At least, about N887m has been allocated for this project. In this same vein, we are optimistic that our collaboration with your association and the donations you have made will further strengthen what we have been doing in the past 4 years and shall be made to fill identified gaps.
In our resolve to improve the healthcare system and in keeping with goal 17th of the United Nations, which is sustainable development goals, we shall continue to work and collaborate with public-spirited Nigerians to complement what we are doing and change the narratives for good.
On this note, I am pleased to accept and unveil the medical equipment/items donated to our state by our friends and compatriots, who are currently making a living in Diaspora and are based in Seattle, and the benevolent healthcare foundation Project Cure. Once again, on behalf of the good people of our state, I commend your contribution to the health sector through this marvelous gift’ he added.
One of the donors, Dr Lateef Olaniyan, who attended the event and gave a speech on behalf of others, noted that they had though been giving necessary supports to the people back home before now but were however encouraged to take a decision that this should increase in volume owing to the steps taken by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.
He also promised that the Kwarans living abroad will continue to support the state government and continue to impact lives back home.
‘Actually, the origin of what we are doing today started in 2019 when our governor was elected. Before even taking office, we, in the Diaspora, invited him to the United States, and we asked ‘please tell us how you’re going to rule. What are you going to do for our people in Kwara State. What do you have in stock for them? So he came, he responded to us. After telling us his vision for this wonderful state of harmony, we were extremely impressed that definitely this is the person we need to follow.
So after he left, we in the Seattle area. We have 8 family groups in Seattle. We decided to look at what we can do to follow this up. What are we going to do to help this man to achieve his aims and objectives? All these things he said he was going to do. He talked about agriculture, education, health, and a lot of other things that we were so impressed. So the thing is what we are going to do to help this government. We in Seattle we have been doing things not just for Nigerians. As a matter of fact, even in America, most people will think everybody in America is rich and that everybody in America has a lot of money. I will tell you today that there are some homeless people in America.
There are poor people in America. We in Seattle, we usually donate to the food bank for the poor people to go and get food. If we’re able to do this, what are we going to do for our state. And again, we’ve been doing this even before the emergence of this administration. We have renovated classrooms in Omu-Aran, in Pakata, Esie. Now that we have a new governor who wants to help his people, who is fully committed to helping his people, what are we going to do to help him?
So we in Seattle , we chose two programmes for 2022/23. For the first programme, we randomly selected ten students at the University of Ilorin and we offered them scholarships. Glory be to God, we were able to provide ten randomly selected students with full scholarships covering tuition fees, accommodation and everything, we were able to do that and the money went directly to each of the students. We received acknowledgements. After that, the next project we wanted to do was the Project Cure. This Project Cure just quickly I should tell you a little bit about it. It’s the largest organization in the world that supplies medical equipment and they’ve touched over 130 countries in the world including Nigeria, Ghana and Zimbabwe.
That was why we embarked on this programme. So we contributed money, we said we’re going to make this happen. Basically, why are we doing this? We are doing this just to support the governor. Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, as we all know, he is not the first governor in Kwara State. We’ve had so many governors and we’ve invited them all but this one is different. Because of his commitment, because he wants to help not just the elite, not just a selected group, he is interested in spreading love and happiness and good quality of life to every part of Kwara State.
That was why we decided to help him. Believe it or not, this is just the beginning. We still have a lot of things to do because the governor is doing his best. He’s trying and we just want to continue to help him.
I appreciate the state government and especially our governor who has been doing a wonderful job. I’m sorry he’s not here today but I’m sure he has a compelling reason for not being here. But nevertheless, we appreciate him for the reception we’ve gotten and like I said, we are willing to do more. This is just the beginning. So on behalf of the Seattle group and people in the Diaspora, I want to thank the governor.
One other thing I need to thank the governor for is his vision of appointing somebody as the representative of the people in Diaspora because as you know people in Australia, in Canada, in America, everybody cannot be calling Ilorin that I want my road done, I want borehole, I want this and that. The governor chose a vocal person, Dr. Omolola-Aje Sawyer as the Diaspora’s representative. So this appointment alone was part of why this was able to take place. Otherwise, it may be difficult or disjointed. It may be disorganized. I want to thank the governor for that appointment. There are so many things the governor is doing that I need to thank him for but time will not allow to go step by step’ he said.
Commissioner for Health , Dr Raji Abdulrazaq, who had his speech read on his behalf by Dr Johnson Oyeniyi , Director of Medical Services , Ministry of Health, thanked the donors for supporting the Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq administration noting that ‘this kind gesture by the Kwarans living in Seattle and the Benevolent Health Care Foundation ‘s Project CURE was in tandem with the policy thrust of the current administration in the state in respect of making qualitative ,affordable, accessible and acceptable healthcare available to Kwarans’.
He added that the donation of the medical equipment by the public-spirited Kwarans was done in the spirit of collaboration which had been one of the effective strategies adopted by the state government since the beginning of the Abdulrazaq administration.
‘You will recall the successes recorded in the Malaria Elimination Programme following the payment of N82 million as counterpart fund in the year 2019 which enabled the state to benefit 2.3million long lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN) worth over 3.3billion naira .
Members of every household in this state became owners of the nets that were distributed in the year 2020.
The cumulative payment of about 340 million naira within the past four years as counterpart fund has also eased the full implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund . The statewide programme for the first time ensured that at least one accredited primary health care centre per ward received direct funding through the primary health care and the health insurance gateways.
Many more interventional programmes including the Accelerating Nutrition Results In Nigeria (ANRIN) programme and the recent IMPACT Project have been achieved through effective collaboration with relevant stakeholders’ he said.
While commending the Kwarans living in Seattle /Project CURE for donating the medical equipment and the hospital-related items to the state with a view to complementing the numerous Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq’ s giant strides in the health sector, he also emphasized the need to support the governor’s re-election bid.
Elerin of Adanla, Oba David Adedunmoye while delivering his goodwill message submitted that Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has done the people of the state proud saying Kwarans have had it so good under him.
The governor according to him cares about the traditional rulers in the state and other Kwarans hence the decision to support his re-election bid.
He also noted that the governor has continued to touch lives especially the people living in the rural areas.
Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Dr Afeez Abolore ,who also thanked Kwarans in the Diaspora for showing love to the people back home, asserted that the AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq administration has done so well in all sectors, the governor should therefore be allowed to continue with his job unhindered.
Dr Abdulraheem Malik ,who is the Executive Secretary, Kwara state Hospital Management Board, said it had always been emphasized that government cannot do everything alone noting that the donation of the medical equipment by Kwarans living in Seattle was an example of such a notion.
‘I would say for us in Igbomina land, it has always been a culture and community development efforts had been part of us,. But over the years, all of us have become lazy, expecting the government to do all things for us. But every now and again, we see a few public-spirited Kwarans, trying to do what they can for the benefit of the people without waiting for government, but those things become more apparent and people get more encouraged to participate when they have a government that they believe is truly working for the people.
In this case, with the emergence of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq, it has renewed such an energy in our people to continue to do what they can for the community. We can definitely do more but it’s a two- way streak. We expect the government to be for the people while others that are capable as well do the best they can on behalf and for the people’ Engineer Nurudeen Adeyemi Balogun, an aerospace engineer , who is based in the United States, submitted while responding to a reporter’s question seeking to know if Nigerians had done enough to support government at all levels?
‘Our sincere thanks and gratitude goes to our Diaspora families in Seattle, Washington State, USA. They are small but mighty. The families of 8; Mr. Abdul & Rosemary Abebefe (Ilorin), Mr. Ferguson & Sherifat Adesoye (Erinle), Mr. Daniel & Grace Bamidele (Odo Owa), Dr. Lateef & Mariam Olaniyan (Omu-Aran), Mr. Abiodun & Naomi Aina (Obbo Ile), Mr. Kassim & Sharon AbdulRahman (Ilorin), Mr. Dapo & Abimbola Amosun (Ipee), and Mr. Lola & Bolanle Adekoya (Esie).
They got together in conjunction with the Project Cure and they made a firm commitment to bring this 40 -foot container that contains over 400,000 (Four Hundred thousand) US Dollars worth of medical equipment and supplies as their donation to the development and progress of our great state.
As with many endeavors that have many contributory members, the Kwara Development Group – USA, quickly jumped in and helped facilitated many of the logistic support with the arms of the Kwara State government been key partners in these herculean efforts. The families from Seattle, Washington State, had embarked on numerous interventions including school renovations, medical missions, and educational scholarships.
The small seed planted by Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has germinated and blossomed into this beautiful tree all in the effort to bring relief and succour to the good people of Kwara State.
Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has lived up to the challenges and surpassed expectations in all aspects to the admiration of the Diaspora family and majority of Kwarans worldwide.
We salute the exemplary leadership that Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has provided in the state, and we implore our people to kindly renew his mandate in the interest of the state.
With 4 more years of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Kwara State will be well on its way to that greatness we have all envisioned’ he added.