Wike Signs Executive Order 22…enables outdoor signage and advertising enforcement

Rivers State Governor Chief Nyesom Wike said his administration had proven that through budget integrity, commitment and prudence, nothing was too difficult to achieve in governance for Nigerians.
Wike spoke at the inauguration of the 72-bed Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Treatment Center in Port Harcourt, carried out by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, last Monday.
The Governor noted that his administration transparently delivered the center within the agreed time frame of 14 months for the benefit of the people of Rivers and Nigerians in general.
He noted that one of the reasons why federal government projects take years to complete was that the National Assembly often allocated paltry funds to projects intended to be executed each fiscal year when it knew those funds were largely insufficient to reach a significant milestone.
Wike said such a practice has continued to encourage abandonment of projects and fostered inadequacy in terms of governance, project delivery and public service.
“For a project that will cost N26 billion; you put 500 million naira in the budget for one year. Then it will now take you more than 20 years to get there. By then, the cost will rise from 26 billion naira to a hundred and something billion naira.
“That’s why you see in this country abandonment of projects. If we are serious in this country to say that we will get the best, I can tell you that it is not impossible.
Wike emphasized that the people of Rivers deserved the best, which is why the best quality was provided at the center, similar to the best quality provided on all other projects.
He mocked those who said they had set out to build the Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte Specialty Hospital which never came to light despite the huge funds invested in this endeavor.
Wike explained that already there was a partnership agreement in place based on the strength of the agreement negotiated with the Consul General of the United States, Mr. Will Stevens.
The governor said Stevens has visited the hospital and is currently making contact with people who know how to best run the hospitals in a cost-effective manner, which would be seen as taking over center operations.
He also explained that the facility was named after Dr. Peter Odili because he was one of the Rivers executives who operated one of the best clinics in the state, served as governor with merit, and now contributed to medical education in the state.
The Governor expressed his joy at the completion of the center and said it is a report card and proof of the fulfillment of the promise made to the people of Rivers.
During the inauguration of the project, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, said that it was fitting to salute the sagacity and foresight of Wike for initiating and updating such an innovative project.
He noted that the centre, which was the first of its kind in the Niger Delta and in Nigeria as a whole, would surely benefit people beyond the borders of the South-South region.
“The dreaded disease of cancer and its devastating effects on its victim cannot be overstated. Not only does it emotionally destroy its victims and their families, it renders them financially incapacitated.
“Therefore, it can be said that cancer diagnosis and treatment are out of reach and affordable for the common man.
“So with the commissioning of this center, people with this disease and other oncological conditions can, at least, breathe a sigh of relief, here is help at their doorstep.”
He said that in the spirit of good neighborliness and as keepers of brothers, patients from neighboring states and even states as far away as Kano will not be turned away from the God-sent cancer relief center.
According to him, it was undeniable that infrastructures of this magnitude are very difficult to maintain, and called for a positive paradigm shift in the attitude towards the culture of maintenance.
“We are calling on the incoming administration and the people of Rivers State to take ownership of this improved infrastructure by ensuring that this very vital center is well equipped and maintained at all times.
“Facilities need to be regularly upgraded to meet global standards. Staff should be trained, retrained and updated on the latest medical technologies and innovations.
He also noted that it is a well-known fact that due to oil and gas exploration in the Niger Delta, some of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) may not have used the best global practices in their exploration in the Niger Delta.
Such neglect, he said, has thus exposed the people of this region to diseases caused by gas flaring and oil pollution of ecosystems and the environment.
“It is also not out of place to call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to borrow a leaf from the Governor of River State and establish similar centers in each of the geopolitical zones to alleviate the suffering of the people with cancer and cardiovascular problems.
“It’s a good step to stop our people from getting into medical tourism, which benefits other countries’ economies at the expense of ours, especially in these times of scarce and high exchange rates.”
In his goodwill message, former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili, said he and his family were overjoyed at the honor bestowed on them with such a center bearing his name from his living.
Odili said Wike should have been a doctor because of the medical infrastructure he provided in the state which was unparalleled in Nigerian history.
“Look at this building. The Honorable Commissioner for Health lectured us on the uniqueness of this centre. Everything he said about the center is true, I fully support and approve of him.
“The president of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) also spoke about it and I said there is no medical facility in this country, built by a state government that has everything you have here No one can see your break light in your health care program.
“The Cancer Center which you have also introduced here, has only three functions in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is one of three. None other belongs to the state government; the other two belong to the federal government.
In his speech, NMA President Dr. Uche Ojinmah happily noted that Wike had timed the center’s inauguration to coincide with the ongoing cancer awareness campaign.
According to him, Wike’s administration has been bold in providing medical infrastructure that promotes public health and cares for patients.
Providing the description of the project, the Commissioner for Health, Professor PrincewillChike, said the centre, among other features, has three theatres, a catheterization laboratory, radiotherapy, brachytherapy and nuclear medicine.
According to him, there were doctors’ quarters, a helipad, modern incinerators, 1000, 1000 & 800 KVA in series to supply the center.
In his address, the Chairman of the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, Attorney George Ariolu, described the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diagnosis and Treatment Center as a benevolent donation to the humanity.
Julius Berger’s chief executive, Lars Richter, said the center, with its state-of-the-art medical equipment, will boost medical tourism in Rivers State.

About Michael C. Lovelace

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