Nigeria’s Minister of State for Health, Dr Adeleke Mamora, has paid special tribute to Concerned Abia Professionals, a group of Abia citizens, for donating a fully-equipped isolation Centre in Abia for the fight against COVID-19.
The minister during the inauguration of the 50-bed ultra-modern isolation Centre donated by the group to the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, described the initiative as “exemplary and an unprecedented gesture’’ since the pandemic began.
According to Mamora, “this gesture is a demonstration of undiluted patriotism ever seen anywhere in the country since the emergence of COVID-19’’
He said that the project further illustrated the milestone that could be achieved in national development through a robust partnership between the private and public sectors.
Also, the Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, described the project as a show of unparalleled patriotism.
According to him, the demonstration of this kind of patriotism compels government to complement the people’s efforts.
Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu who was represented by his Deputy, Ude-Oko Chukwu, said that it was a thing of joy that COVID-19 had helped to galvanise Abia indigenes to address an issue of common concern.
The Governor said that Abia had so far recorded 909 cases of COVID-19 with 810 cases successfully managed and discharged in the two government molecular laboratories in Aba and Umuahia.
Ikpeazu maintained that the state currently had 10 active cases, describing it as one of the least in the south-eastern part of Nigeria.
The project initiator, Mrs Ngozi Ekeoma, said the gesture was inspired by the urgent need to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Abia.
Chairman of the Implementation Committee, Mr Johnson Chukwu, said that 180 Abia citizens contributed N98 million to execute the more than N120 million project.
He expressed joy that the project was completed in a record time of 47 days.
In a brief speech, the Medical Director of FMC, Dr Azubuike Onyebuchi, thanked the group for its kind gesture, describing the members as selfless and some of the most patriotic Abia citizens.
Onyebuchi promised that the centre would be fully utilised to achieve its stated objectives.
The Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, representing Abia South Senatorial District, Rep. Sam Onuigbo, representing Ikwuano/Umuahia Federal Constituency, and a financial expert, Dr Alex Otti, expressed joy over the realisation of the project.
The Managing Director of Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Investment, Uche Orji, Group Managing Director of First Bank Holdings, UK Eke, Slot CEO, Nnamdi Ezeigbo, Mrs. Vanessa Dez-Ogugua, Dr. Ngozi Azodoh, Elder Ekeoma Eme Ekeoma, Dr. Blessing Nwagba were among many prominent Abians present at the event.