- The Akwa state government has announced the establishment of an ultra-modern Thompson & Grace Medical University in Uyo
- The facility, the governor said, would impact Akwa Ibom in particular and Nigeria at large
- The establishment of the university is in partnership with German companies and research institutes
The governor of Akwa Ibom state, Emmanuel Udom on Friday, May 4, laid the foundation for the ultra-modern Thompson & Grace Medical University in Afaha Obong, Uyo.
Premium Times reports that a private investor and the managing director of the company, Isaac Amos said he was collaborating with the Akwa Ibom state government and some other medical and research institutes to establish the facility.
Confirming the partnership, Udom said the establishment of the facility would impact Akwa Ibom in particular and Nigeria at large. He however, did not make it clear if the state government is partnering to provide more than the space where the university would be built.
Represented by his deputy, Moses Ekpo, Governor Udom said the need for qualified medical professionals in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasised.
He said the establishment of the facility would help in the transfer of technology in important areas of healthcare service delivery. He also said project would ensure the immediate creation of jobs to residents of Akwa Ibom and beyond.
“As from projected statistics, I am told when fully operational, this medical facility has the capacity to accommodate up to 35,000 workers (direct and indirect) in what appears one of the biggest foreign direct investment drives in this part of the world," Ekpo said.
This investment comes even as the N41 billion ‘world class’ Akwa Ibom specialist hospital built by the former governor of the state, Godswill Akpabio continues to rot.
NAIJ.com gathered that the specialist hospital which was completed and commissioned in 2015 was shut down by Udom's administration in September 2017. The facility which has become a skeleton of its own, however, did not prevent the state government from making more investment in health.
Speaking at the foundation laying of the university, Amos, said the initiative was driven by ”three critical and closely-related needs in healthcare and medical education in Nigeria”.
He also said that these need included: “need for qualified healthcare professionals in Nigeria; the need for world-class medical university capable of innovative research and development (R&D) in Nigeria and Africa, and the need for affordable and accessible healthcare services in Nigeria.”
Amos noted that other institutions collaborating the university establishment include: USTAWI Research Institute, USA; HKS Inc., USA; Center for Health Systems & Design, Texas A&M University USA, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, USA, and University Medical Center of Hamburg Eppendorf (UKE), Germany.
Others are: UKE Consult Und Management GmbH, Germany, Hellmann Worldwide Healthcare Logistics GmbH, Germany, among others.
Also, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Thompson & Grace Investment Limited, Lagos, and the University Medical Centre Eppendorf (UKE), Germany, at the German Embassy in Abuja. The MoU also states clearly that operations at the university is expected to commence in the next two years.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that Akpabio was mum over the closure of the N41 billion Akwa Ibom specialist hospital by his successor.
The former governor through his spokesperson said he has moved on from being a governor in the state to a Senator at the National Assembly.
Meanhile, commissioner for health in Akwa Ibom state, Dominic Ukpong, said the closure of the hospital is due to poor management.
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