The Rivers State Government has received N2bn from the Healthcare Intervention Funds of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The state’s Executive Council confirmed that the money was N500million short of its earlier approval.
A statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said the CBN matter was one among the wide range of issues and approvals considered and given by the council at its meeting that was presided over by Governor Nyesom Wike at the Government House in Port Harcourt on Thursday evening.
Speaking after the meeting, the Commissioner for Finance, Isaac Kamalu said the money from the CBN had already been deployed in healthe th sector.
He said: “Council was briefed on the earlier approved CBN Healthcare Intervention Fund wherein approval was granted that the Rivers State Government access the CBN N2.5bn Healthcare Intervention Fund to the effect that the amount actually released by CBN is N2bn not N2.5n as requested.
“And that the N2bn has been utilised for the payment of contractors in the respective medical institutions for which approval was sought and granted.
“That is, the Prof. Kersley Harrison Hospital, Dental and Maxillofacial Hospital and Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases Diagnostics and Treatment Centre.”
Kamalu explained that when completed, the projects would reduce the quest for medical tourism in foreign countries.
“These facilities are being put in place by the government, not just to provide medical services for Rivers citizens and residents here but for other Nigerians who would have the benefit of getting these medical services without seeking to go abroad for the same service,” he said.
Kamalu said that the council also approved the establishment of a first-class Radiology and Radiotherapy Unit at the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases Diagnostics and Treatment Centre in Port Harcourt.
He said the unit would be run by professional healthcare management experts to ensure provisions of maximal and requisite services.
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