BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
The Bayelsa State government has assured that all its referral hospitals in the state’s eight local government areas would be fully functional by the end of this year.
The deputy governor, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, gave the assurance on Saturday at a meeting with traditional rulers from Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area, at Government House, Yenagoa.
A health summit would be held next week to streamline government’s policies in the sector for an enhanced healthcare delivery system.
He said the Douye Diri-led administration was placing premium on primary healthcare delivery, in order to promote the wellbeing of rural dwellers.
Ewhrudjakpo, who said the referral hospital in Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area was already operational, urged the people to avail themselves of the services provided at the facility.
Commenting on ongoing COVID-19 vaccinations in the state, the deputy governor said over 20,000 persons had so far received the first jab, while the second dose of the vaccine would be administered soon.
He urged the people to continue to observe all COVID-19 protocols in line with the guidelines of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
On security, Ewhrudjakpo restated the need for traditional rulers to complement government efforts at taking proactive security measures to sustain the existing peace and security across communities in the state.
He urged the traditional rulers and other community leaders to collaborate on devising ways and means of profiling visitors coming into their communities in order to forestall a breakdown of law and order in their domains.
The deputy governor stressed that it had become imperative for people to be vigilant in view of the heightened insecurity in the country, saying that wherever there was a breach of the peace they should immediately notify the authorities for necessary action.
While lamenting the paucity of funds at the disposal of government as against competing demands, he promised that the administration would look into the welfare of traditional rulers in the state.
On the proposed review of the state’s Chieftaincy and Community Administration Law, Ewhrudjakpo assured that government would call for memoranda from the communities and other stakeholders when the time arrived.
Commenting on modular refineries, he said there was need to streamline the activities of those engaged in local refining of crude oil towards empowering them, while also protecting the environment from pollution.
In their remarks, the Ibenanaowei of Kolokuma, King Onya Mozi Agara and his Opokuma counterpart, King Aranka Collins, commended the state government for engaging community leaders on a local government by local government basis.
Describing the initiative as the first of its kind in the annals of the state, they said it would foster development and the proper dissemination of government policies and programmes to people at the grassroots.
King Agara and the Amananaowei of Kaiama, Chief J.O. Burutolu, highlighted the significance of the role of traditional rulers in promoting peace and stability in the communities and urged the state government to review their monthly remuneration upward.(NAN)