By Rita Iliya
Minna – The South Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, Maj. -Gen. Lee Intae (Rtd), on Friday inaugurated a smart-metered solar borehole project in the Minna General Hospital worth 25,000 dollars.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the South Korean government through the UN-Habitat programme in May 2020 donated 25,000 dollars to support the Niger state government to contain the spread of COVID-19.
The grant was to construct a smart-metered solar borehole at isolation center in the hospital and provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), face shield and hand sanitizers to frontline health workers.
Lee explained that South Korea made the support as part of effort to support the Niger state fight against COVID19.
“We shall win the fight against COVID-19. South Korea has always been a close friend with Niger and I want to reaffirm our solidarity with Niger people especially in time of global crisis,” he said.
He disclosed that South Korea had helped to build rice processing and milling center in Bida worth 1.8 million dollars, adding that it was also working with the state to develop a master plan for Suleja Smart City.
He called for a stronger relationship and urged the state to reciprocate Korean gesture through it’s natural resources and abundant energy generated by Shiroro hydro-electric plants and Kainji dam.
Speaking, Gov. Sani Bello of Niger, commended the South Korean for the grant through the UN-Habitat for implementing the smart metered borehole and PPE projects.
Bello, who was represented by Alhaji Ahmed Matane, Secretary to the State Government, also lauded South Korean grant to prepare the state Urban policy with the technical assistance of UN-Habitat.
In his remarks, Dr Maku Sidi, the state Commissioner of Health, said the borehole would ensure adequate supply of water to isolation center, molecular laboratory in the hospital and pledged to ensure optimal utilisation of the project
Also speaking, Dr Ma’ali Ishak, Chief Medical Director of Minna General Hospital said that water was a challenge in the hospital environment.
Ishak noted that that the project would augment scarcity of water in the hospital.
In his response, Prof. Mustapha Zubairu, Coordinator, Niger State Urban Support Programme said that part of the grant was used to produce 437 PPE, face shield and hand sanitizers.