The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative, together with the Akwa Ibom State Government, Wednesday, held the groundbreaking ceremony of the Akwa Ibom State University Teaching Hospital in the state.
The construction of the teaching hospital is being supported by a N5 billion ASR Africa Health Infrastructure Grant for which N2.5 billion was disbursed immediately to commence construction.
Speaking at the event, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom thanked the ASR Africa Initiative and its Chairman, Abdul Samad Rabiu for the gesture and promised to ensure the grant is put to good use.
He said: “We are happy to receive the first tranche of N2.5 billion from the ASR Africa Initiative and today’s groundbreaking ceremony coming just two weeks after the N5 billion grant was announced signposts the seriousness we attach to delivering a teaching hospital that would be a model for others and one Nigeria would be proud of.”
On his part, Ubon Udoh, Managing Director of ASR Africa, stated that the gesture was to align with the government’s developmental plans for the people of the state.
HE said: “We, earlier in the month, announced a N5 billion grant to the state for healthcare and social development as part of our annual $100 million dollars Annual Africa Fund for Social Development and Renewal.
“Today, we have also handed over a first tranche of N2.5 billion Naira to commence construction of the teaching hospital, which will be of international standards.
“This project in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State Government, will be implemented and monitored fully in line with the ASR Africa Mutual Accountability Framework.”
Representing the founder of ASR Africa, Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong said: “We have been across the length of the state and we have seen the different development projects done by the state government in Primary and Secondary healthcare, especially in the areas of infrastructure, referral system, health, education and human capacity development.
“What the ASR Africa initiative is simply doing is filling in the gaps and joining the government in delivering comprehensive healthcare to the people.
“We believe that this hospital will go a long way in boosting the healthcare system of the state while encouraging research and training a new generation of healthcare practitioners.”
The ASR Africa Initiative was established by African industrialist, philanthropist and founder of Nigeria’s BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, and seeks to support sustainable development initiatives in health, education and social development within Nigeria and the rest of Africa through its annual $100 million dollars ‘Africa Fund for Social Development and Renewal’.