President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said that his administration is fulfilling its promises.
He made the remark while inaugurating the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) advanced Cancer treatment centre in Lagos.
In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and publicity, Femi Adesina, the President pledged to ensure facilities for the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of cancer were available to many more Nigerians.
At the inauguration ceremony of the state-of-the-art Centre in LUTH, Idi Araba, Buhari announced the model will be replicated across the country to bring quality, first-class healthcare services to cancer patients in Nigeria.
‘‘We are aware that up to 40% of funds spent by Nigerians on medical tourism is attributable to patients seeking treatment for cancer.
“Despite having an increasing number of citizens suffering from cancer, we until now had only two working radiotherapy machines in the country.
‘‘Working through the NSIA and LUTH we utilized a PPP model that unlocked investment capital to directly address this issue. We will replicate this model across the country to bring quality, first-class healthcare services to as many Nigerians as we can.
‘‘Indeed, over the coming months, under our leadership, the NSIA will commission two Modern Medical Diagnostic Centres to be co-located in the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State and the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia, Abia State, respectively, bringing additional investment to Nigeria’s healthcare sector,’’ he said.
The President, while wishing the management of the hospital good luck in operating the centre, emphasised the needs for maintenance of the equipment.
‘‘Our goal today is not simply to celebrate and applaud the culmination of months of hard work to achieve this objective.
“Neither is it solely to revel in the successful completion of the most modern and best-equipped Cancer treatment centre in West Africa.
‘‘Indeed we are proud, but we recognize that this modest effort to address the gaps in our tertiary healthcare system alone is insufficient to address all the challenges faced by the sector.
‘‘Today, we showcase what feats we can accomplish when we are together, unrelenting in our effort to deliver a common objective.
‘‘No one ever prays to be diagnosed with cancer, but if they are, what we have made possible here today is the hope that a true chance of survival and good quality of life becomes part of the story of many Nigerian patients with cancer,’’ he said.
The President promised his administration, which has introduced programmes to alleviate common diseases, including the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund targeted at ensuring access to primary healthcare for all Nigerians, will continue to push hard to raise awareness about cancer, educate the people and facilitate early diagnosis.
He noted that this objective was part of his solemn commitment to Nigerians four years ago to improve the quality of health care in the country.
The President, who performed the ceremony after attending the APC presidential campaign rally at the Teslim Balogun Stadium Surulere, Lagos, said his administration had focused on greater investment in the sector and worked hard to ensure increased access to safe, high-quality healthcare.
‘‘We promised to effect policies that would remove debilitating constraints on the sector and create sustainable structures to strengthen our healthcare institutions.
‘‘Today, we are gathered here to acknowledge the modest but laudable strides we are making in fulfilling that promise.