REPS APPROVE ESTABLISHMENT OF FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTER, BONNY, RIVERS STATE.

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Farah Dagogo

BY EUNICE EMEYAZIA.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022, remains indelible in the minds of residents of Bonny Island, Rivers State, as on this day, the House of Representatives, passed into law the bill for the establishment of a Federal Medical Centre in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Bonny is an Island, with a population of about 172,549 persons due to the consistent surge in the population owing to the oil explorative activities constantly ongoing on the Island, with the figure estimated to increase drastically, especially with the construction of the Train 7 of the NLNG in progress.

The Island grapples with many security challenges on the water – way, as well as health issues. The surge in cases of COVID 19 pandemic, coupled with the case of death of strange fishes found around Bonny – Andoni waterway led to many deaths in the Island, stretching the primary health care centres in the area.

Sadly, the few existing health facilities in the area which look more consulting clinics, are not capable of handling serious health related ailments or emergencies, let alone withstand an outbreak of serious epidemic or hazards caused by industrial or social related activities.

The absence of a good Secondary Health Care facility has therefore remained a concern to residents, as they clamour for the provision of an improved health care system, to bridge the health infrastructure deficit in the Local Government Area and provide for the health needs of the locals and foreigners alike.

This informed the Bill, which seeks to establish a Federal Medical Centre in Bonny, Rivers State, sponsored by Hon. Doctor Farah Dagogo, Member representing Degema/ Bonny Federal Constituency, with 12 other members from Rivers State as co-sponsors.
Farah- Dagogo, had in his debate, lamented the Health Care neglect Bonny Kingdom was facing despite being host to the multi billion Dollar Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG and other oil multinationals, adding that the availability of a good Health Care Facility ought to be a matter of grave concern to the government.

The House Committee on Health Institutions had on February 1st, 2022, laid its report before the House for consideration and
adoption.

At the Committee of the whole penultimate Wednesday, chaired by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Idris Wase, the House scrutinized and considered the sections, schedule and explanatory memorandum, where futher amendments were effected.

At a one day Public Hearing held at the House of Representatives, thursday, Critical stakeholders, threw their weight behind the proposed law.

The bill was later adopted at the resumed sitting of the House.
When it was put up for Third Reading, the bill got a resounding ‘yes’
With the passage of the bill, the Lower Chambers has granted legal framework to the establishment of the Federal Medical Centre.

The Medical Centre will cater and address the consistent surge in the population of Bonny, and Rivers State at large, and when fully operational, would generate employment, reduce the number of job seekers in the labour market, reduce crime rate and improve security in the Local Government.

#Eunice Emeyazia Reporting