President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday inaugurated a reference hospital in Calabar, capital of Cross River saying that the facility would bring about an improved quality health delivery services to all naval personnel, their families and all individuals residing in the state.
Speaking in Calabar at the ceremony, President Buhari stated that his administration places much premium on the welfare and well-being of all security personnel who have been fighting relentlessly to maintain the stability and peace of the country.
He said that one of the policy thrust of his administration the drive is to provide affordable healthcare delivery services to Nigerians
residing in the state.
Buhari while stressing on the importance of the navy facility, stated that the hospital is inaugurated to alleviate suffering of armed
forces personnel who after rigorous and mental and physical exertion need a good hospital to cater for the health need of the personnel.
“I have no doubt that this facility, built with the state-of-the-art equipment, will improve the health standard of military personnel,
their families and the general public.
“I charge the Navy to ensure sustainace of this high standard hospital. This will help to realise the the value of the resources
committed into the project.
“Our investment in healthcare and accommodation for military personnel will help them to bring out their best in national security.
“I want to commend the Chief of the Naval staff and the Chief of Defence Staff for realising these great projects”, Buhari maintained.
President Buhari also commissioned the 100 units model bricks accommodation which according to him shall ease accommodation problems at the Atimbo navy barracks for all officers of the Eastern Naval Command.
In his remarks, Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Ibok Ete-Ibas, stated that the building of the project was conceived between 1974 and 1976 stressing that the project was designed to serve as a model medical force multiplier facility for the Nigerian Navy and other
military and paramilitary services in the Southern part of the country.
Ibas added that the physical fitness and accommodation of the naval personnel was key to discharging optimal services adding that the reference hospital is fully equipped with modern facilities that can stand the test of time adding that the facility has a capacity to
handle about 50 physiotherapy patients on daily basis.
The Navy boss while reeling out the history of the reference hospital stated that in 1980 when the project for the facility kicked-off by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing it suffered slow progress and was eventually handed over to the Ministry of Defence in 1994.
Ibas said, “By 2012 when the Nigerian Navy took over the project, it was barely at 30 per cent completion over the 32 years construction period.
“A renewed commitment was however made in 2016 by the Nigerian Navy administration to deliver the hospital in a grander form than originally conceptualized”.
The navy helmsman lauded President Buhari for completing the project and expressed hope that the value of the investment will be realized.
Also speaking, the Minister for Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who was being represented at the ceremony by the Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, commended the Navy for the stride adding that Crossriverians were blessed to have the project coming into full operation that the facility would deliver the best medical services to military personnel all the individuals resident in the state.