by crossriverwatch admin
Cross River State yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the state government and four concessionaires for the management of three general hospitals and the provision and management of outdoor signage services.
The General Hospital, Bekwarra, was concessioned to Bakor Hospital Ltd, Saint Luke Hospital Consortium was handed General Hospital, Obudu, while Meditron-Loba Healthcare Ltd takes pharmacies and clinical diagnostic centers in General Hospitals Igoli [Ogoja], Yahe and Okpoma [Yalla] and Sankwala [Obanliku] Local Government Areas respectively.
While Bakor is expected to invest N100 million to upgrade facilities at the Bekwarra General Hospital, Saint Luke will invest N500 million in the General Hospital, Obudu.
Meditron-Loba is also expected to invest about N300 million.
The concession period which spans 20 years will ensure that 4% of the operating profit payable half yearly goes to the state government after a moratorium period of 12 months on the hospitals, while 70% of all collected revenues from the outdoor media and signage services will equally go to the state government.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Governor Liyel Imoke explained that by the agreement, the concessions would run under the supervision of the Bureau for Public Private Partnership [BPPP] which was set up by law with a vision to ensure Cross River State leads in reforms and service delivery to its people through global best practices.
Imoke hinted that “To be able to achieve the type of successes that we expect, we have to look at other climes, profile other territories and regions and find out what works. And what exactly it is that we as a people want in terms of services to our people.”
According to the governor, the agreement was a breaking of new ground in Nigeria in the delivery of services to the people, knowing the roles of the private sector. He also said it was to create access at low cost as Private Partnership comes with experience, skills and access to finance and provide services not only in terms of standards but in quality of service.
“For us, if we are to deliver healthcare efficiently, we must set new standards, new benchmarks and if we fail to do that as an administration, it means that we have failed in our obligation to our people,” Imoke reiterated.
He described the two hospitals to be managed under the agreement as excellent models which have rendered no services for some time now, while noting that the diagnostic services in some of the general hospitals are below standards as x-rays and blood tests are done and drugs bought outside the hospitals.
He said with the reform and the concession policy of the government, diagnostic services done inside the hospitals would bring about added value.
According to him, “This will introduce simple significant labor, create opportunity for the people to up their skills and practice healthcare delivery with new standards.”
On the concessioning of the state’s outdoor and signage services, the governor noted that though some people were initially against PPP, it is now incumbent on everyone to ensure it succeeds as the outdoor and signage was intended to keep the environment tidy as well as ensure Cross River remains a model at ensuring standards.
He added that the opportunity required a collective approach from the people to ensure efficient practice. Imoke said the beneficiary communities and the local government councils should be part of the reforms for it to succeed.
The governor advised them not see the partners as contractors but investors who are taking risks with the intent of enhancing and improving service profile using technical know-how.
Responding on behalf of the concessionaires, Mr. Chris Parks of Chris Parks Marketing Solutions, described the procurement which was adopted to award the concession as professional, tedious and transparent.
Parks lauded the state for its vision which made it possible for them to be part of the reformation process and said they were awarded the concession based on trust. He promised that the concessionaires would deliver as promised.
Director-General, Bureau of Public Private Partnership, Dr. Francis Ntamu, described the concession as a project for strategic alignment and additionally for job creation and skill development particularly that existing state employees would be retained by the concessionaires.
He said this is in line with the state government`s 7-point agenda. According to him, ’Environmentally, the project is expected to comply with standard environmental requirement as may relate to medical waste management.”
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