The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa) – brainchild of Industrialist, philanthropist and founder of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, has provided a grant of 2.5billion Naira to the Edo State Government towards the equipping of the New Stella Obasanjo Hospital in Benin City currently being reconfigured, upgraded, and expanded to a 250-bed specialist hospital.
This donation makes Edo State the fourth state after Sokoto, Ogun and Kwara states to receive a 2.5billion Naira grant from ASR Africa’s 10bn Naira Tertiary Healthcare Systems Support Grants Scheme for 2021 drawn from the Annual ASR Africa $100million Fund for Social Development and Renewal.
Presenting the grants award letter to Governor Godwin Obaseki in Edo State, Ubon Udoh, Managing Director, ASR Africa Initiative said the 2.5billion Naira Healthcare grant to Edo State, was in fulfilment of the pledge made by the founder of ASR Africa, Alh. Abdul Samad Rabiu, in June 2021 when he specifically set aside 10billion Naira for tertiary healthcare interventions in 4 states in Nigeria.
He further added that the 2.5billion grant, which will be put towards equipping the new Stella Obasanjo Hospital, will go a long way in raising the standard of care accessible in the region. He also commended Governor Godwin Obaseki, for his commitment to healthcare development at all levels within the State.
“We are here to present to you a letter of award for a N2.5 billion grant for tertiary healthcare support system scheme to support the Stella Obasanjo Hospital.”
“We are going to start by putting an initial deposit of N1.25billion in a joint account between ASR Africa and Edo State Government; I want to congratulate you and your team. We want to thank you for the commitment you’ve shown towards bettering the lives of your people and the quality of leadership you’ve shown and which we have seen. I want to assure you that this is the beginning of a partnership between ASR and the Edo State Government,” he said.
Governor Obaseki, whilst thanking the ASR Africa Initiative for the grant, stated that his government decided to improve healthcare delivery in the state by renovating, improving, and upgrading the Stella Obasanjo Hospital to a 250-bed hospital. He also added that new buildings and services are being added to complement and support the existing complex.
According to Governor Obaseki, “We are very concerned about healthcare in Nigeria with the post-COVID-19 economy. We are determined to make Edo a healthcare hub in Nigeria. The healthcare system is really about the people. Infrastructure is important. If you don’t have the people that are properly trained, then the equipment will just be fancy for tourism. Within the Edo axis, we can muster up to five thousand doctors in different specialisations.
“If we have access to people who can provide quality healthcare and have world-class institutions or facilities to provide that training, then we should do it. Having the right governance means an arrangement where people don’t need to travel to get the kind of care they need.
“We are very keen and are anxious to get this started. For us as a state, we just try and execute. Hopefully, next week, we will establish a joint account and the procurement process has to be accelerated; within the next four to six weeks, let the orders be placed.
“I want to thank and appreciate you and the people of Edo will eternally be grateful. We can now proudly say that you have one of your largest investments in Africa in Edo and this is what they are contributing to the lives of our people,” he added.
The brainchild of African Industrialist, Philanthropist and Chairman of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, the Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa) was established in 2021 to provide sustainable, impact-based homegrown solutions to developmental issues affecting Health, Education and Social Development within Africa.