By George Odok
Boki – The National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF) has donated medical facilities to the Primary Healthcare Centre in Okundi community in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River.
Malam Bello Maigari, the Acting Executive Secretary of NLTF, who presented the equipment to the healthcare centre on Friday, said that the gesture was in line with the objectives of the NLTF.
Maigari explained that Section 40 (a) of the NLTF Act 2005 empowers the agency to utilise proceeds generated from all national lottery operations for execution of identified projects across the country.
He said that the intervention would enhance the hospital’s capacity to cater for the wellbeing of all its patients including children and pregnant women.
“Today’s ceremony therefore re-affirms President Muhammadu Buhari led administration’s commitment to advancing, uplifting and promoting access to good healthcare in the country.
“The exercise of equipping this hospital with critical medical facilities is a clear demonstration of the Federal Government’s desire to foster better inclusion of the most vulnerable segments of our society especially women and children.
“We are providing this health centre with beds and mattresses, surgical equipment, digital x-ray machine for diagnosis, the ultra sound scan machine and many others. This equipment is worth millions of naira.
“Okundi is the fifth community to receive this type of special intervention in the area of health in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Speaking, Mr Christopher Etta, Chairman, NLTF Board of Trustees, said that the equipment would improve the health of the underserved segment of the people in Okundi community.
Etta added that the equipment would add value to the lives of the beneficiaries and also help to mitigate mortality and untimely death.
He said that these challenges may arise as a result of improper or ineffective diagnosis arising from impaired equipment.
Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila, Director General of NLRC, urged the hospitals to make judicious use of the facilities to improve the wellbeing of the people.
Gbajabiamila called on all gaming operators and business promoters engaged in promotional lottery to keep to their obligations of remitting 20 per cent lottery proceeds directly to the Trust Fund as required by law.
He added that the prompt remittance of the fund to the Trust Fund would sustain the interventions of the Federal Government in the lives of citizens.
Mrs Owan Emerencia, Director of Primary Healthcare in Boki Local Government, thanked the NLTF for donating the equipment to the health centre.
Emerencia added that the equipment would reduce the migration of people from Boki to other urban areas in search of better medical equipment.
She appealed to the state government to upgrade the health centre to a modern cottage hospital as well as deploy more Residents’ Doctors and official cars to the centre.