The Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has commended the Niger Delta Development Commission for its timely intervention in ensuring adequate healthcare for the people of the Niger Delta region.
Akeredolu spoke when the NDDC Acting Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, paid him a courtesy visit at the Governor’s Office in Akure.
Brambaifa was accompanied by the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Dr. Chris Amadi; and the Acting Executive Director of Projects, Dr. Samuel Adjogbe, as well as other Directors and staff of the Commission.
The Ondo State Governor said he was delighted that NDDC was making efforts to ensure a healthier Niger Delta, noting that for a healthy Nigeria, there was need for a healthy Niger Delta.
“If Niger Delta is not healthy, Nigeria will not be healthy,” he declared.
Akeredolu thanked the NDDC for promptly responding to the needs of the state, especially in its efforts to check the scourge of Lassa fever, which he said had been ravaging Ondo and Edo States seasonally.
He lamented that the huge cost of managing the Lassa fever outbreaks was weighing heavily on the resources of the state government, noting that it was costing the state about N1.6 million to treat one patient alone.
The Ondo State Governor pleaded with the NDDC to expedite action on the construction of the strategic Akodo-Araromi/Ibeju-Lekki Road, which he said would reduce the journey from the state to Lagos to 45 minutes.
He also urged the Commission to expedite action on the Omotosho/Okitipupa electrification project as the oil-bearing communities in the state had been without electricity for many years.
Earlier in his remarks, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer said his team was in the state to assist the government in combating the Lassa fever epidemic.
Brambaifa said the NDDC had come to hand over to the Ondo State Government Lassa Fever personal protection equipment, ambulances as well as medical consumables and drugs.
He said this was part of the commitment of NDDC to facilitate sustainable development in the Niger Delta region and improving the living conditions of the people.
He said: “The recent outbreak of Lassa fever, for instance, compels our attention.
“We responded to the request from your government to intervene because our people must be healthy to enjoy the development we bring.
“We must, therefore, continue to promote good community hygiene, discourage invasion of rodents into our homes, and introduce effective measures, which include storing grains and other foodstuffs in rodent-proof containers.”
Brambaifa said the NDDC recently engaged consultants to provide sensitisation and advocacy across the 18 local government areas of Ondo State, adding that the Commission would continue to engage with the people, across all the communities of the Niger Delta.
The NDDC boss said the Commission remained committed to working to provide projects and programmes that impact positively on the lives of the people, adding that in Ondo State, the Commission had completed 499 projects, while 172 were ongoing.
He observed that the partnership between NDDC and Ondo State Government in the construction of the Araromi-Akodo/Ibeju-Lekki Road remained an inspiring example of what must be done to achieve the Commission’s mandate of facilitating the rapid, even and sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.
Brambaifa assured: “We are committed to ensuring the completion of the very important 50.918km road, which connects several Ondo communities to Lagos State.
“We are also committed to delivering more efficiently and speedily all projects we have begun in Ondo State as well as in the other Niger Delta states.
“To achieve this, we will continue to depend on the support of the governors of the region because we can only achieve our mission by working together.
“Our most compelling call to service, as leaders of our people, is to improve their lives, satisfy their needs and inspire them to continue to work as healthy citizens to make the Niger Delta a better place.”