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Gov Dickson Signs Medical University Establishment Bill, Two others Into Law




Bayelsa State Governor, Honorable Seriake Dickson on Monday assented to the Bayeksa State Medical University, Yenagoa Establishment Bill to support the training of medical personnel in the state that will man the various health infrastructure the state government has put in place.

Governor Dickson, who signed the bill alongside the Corporate Social Responsibility and New Yenagoa City Development Agency bills into law in Government House, Yenagoa, said the 350-bed Melford Okilo Memorial Hospital is to be transformed into a teaching hospital, to cater for the training needs of medical personnel both within and outside the state.

He said plans are on to construct a classroom block, in addition to an administrative block to make it more befitting, noting that, the facility would be completed before the end of his tenure to address both primary and tertiary healthcare needs of the people.
According to him, "the facility will now be used, not just as a hospital, but as a teaching hospital to train students. We believe that would be an optimal way of utilising that wonderful facility into which so much money has been sunk.

"With the increased investments in healthcare infrastructure, including hospitals and health centres that we are building in all local government areas and wards, we need to lay more emphasis on the training of manpower because very soon, this state will be a centre of excellence for medical health."

Governor Dickson, who also commented on the Corporate Social Responsibility Law, decried the attitude of companies operating in the state, noting that, they do not make significant contributions to the development of the state.

While urging companies to comply with the law, the Governor disclosed that, the proceeds would be channeled to funding the state Health Insurance Scheme, Security and Education Development Trust Fund.

"I have said time and time again that companies operating here are not contributing enough to our collective development. By this law, every company (big or small) doing business in Bayelsa is liable to obey the CSR Law because its proceeds will be used to fund health, education and security.

"Let me also make it clear that, this law is not imposing any tax obligation on any individual  but it is targeted at corporate bodies to ensure that they contribute a percentage of their budget to enable us expand the scope of support we are giving to provide affordable healthcare delivery as well as quality education to our children."
On the New Yenagoa City Development Agency Law, Governor Dickson expressed optimism that, the legislation would serve as a catalyst in driving his administration's vision of building a new Bayelsa, where development activities would be controlled in line with best practices.

To this end, he said his administration has spent about N200 billion in providing world class infrastructure in Yenagoa, the State capital, including the construction of roads and bridges, Governor's office complex, adding that, a second flyover bridge would have been constructed at the Tombia- Etegwe area, if it had not been for the economic recession.

"In the state capital, it is very clear for everyone to see all the dualized roads you see are dualized by the restoration government. At the last count, we have spent close to N200 billion and I'm not even including the new Yenagoa City, which itself is one of the most ambitious real estate development that any state government can undertake. I want to use this opportunity to enlighten the public to jettison the propaganda spurned by people envious of the achievements of our government."

Presenting the bills, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Konbowei Benson said, the 3 bills were transmitted to the house for consideration and passage between June 12 and August 8th, this year.

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