President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday expressed optimism that the nation’s desire to achieve medical manpower in order to curb medical tourism would soon be realised.
Buhari stated this when he performed the groundbreaking for the construction of the Administrative/Senate Building, College of Medicine building and Principal Officers Quarters at the permanent site of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo (FUHSO) in Otukpo, Benue State.
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The president, who was represented by the Minister of Education, Prof. Adamu Adamu, noted that he was impressed that the university’s management had hit the ground running and has no doubt that the desired impact of producing high-level medical manpower as well as curbing medical tourism will be achieved in no distant time.
He said his administration recently approved the sum of N3billion as a high-impact intervention fund through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Tetfund) for FUHSO to further enhance infrastructural development that will provide enabling environment for teaching, learning, research and innovation.
The president, therefore, commended the Minister of Education, National Universities Commission (NUC), Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), and Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources for assisting the new university move speedily to commence academic programmes within one year of its operation.
Buhari also, after the groundbreaking ceremony, proceeded to commission a set of laboratory equipment for the university.
Earlier, FUHSO Vice Chancellor, Prof. Innocent Ujah, said with the groundbreaking ceremony, the university’s expectation of moving to the permanent site will commence before the end of 2023.
Ujah added that Tetfund has designated FUHSO as the Centre of Excellence for Infectious Diseases for the study of Lassa Fever, Ebola, Covid-19 and other emerging and re-emerging communicable diseases, stressing that the institution is engaging in partnership with other institutions within Nigeria as well as some global institutions such as Emory University, Atlanta and Northwestern University, Chicago, all in the USA.
Also, in his goodwill message, a former President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, expressed fulfilment that what started like a mere dream had come to fruition.
Mark, represented by Mrs Oowoo Mark Ameh, while urging the management and staff of the university to rise to the occasion of producing world-class manpower in the health sector, said the government and people have high hopes that FUHSO will be among the leading universities in the country.