BY EDU ABADE
In a bid to boost healthcare delivery to thousands of residents, the Lagos State Government has built and unveiled a new Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) in Ije-Ododo Community, Iba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), under the Ojo Council Area of the state.
The facility, which has been under construction since 2021 in partnership with First Bank of Nigeria Limited, was unveiled in the community in an opening ceremony attended by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, representatives of the state government, the state Primary Health Care Board, community leaders, as well as traditional rulers of Iba, Ije-Ododo and Ijagemo, among others.
In his welcome address, the governor, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs. Folashade Sherifat Jaji, said the opening of the health facility under the SSG’s One Community At A Time (OCAAT) initiative, formed part of activities to herald the inauguration of his second term in office on Monday, May 29, 2023.
Maintaining that the attention being paid to the healthcare sector was deliberate to ensure a healthier populace, he said the state government under his watch would deploy more resources to the health sector for easier access to health services, especially in underserved communities.
He enjoined members of the community to take full advantage of the health benefits that will be provided in the facility and charged them to take ownership and protect the assets and the facility at all times.
Speaking, Permanent Secretary, Primary Healthcare Board, Dr. Ibrahim Mustapha, commended First Bank of Nigeria Limited and the contractor for completing the project within the stipulated time frame, but also requested more assistance to make the facility functional by providing equipment and other necessary medical gadgets.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, who was represented by Mr. Seyi Oyefeso, expressed satisfaction at the successful completion of the project, adding that it was gratifying to know that no fewer than 10,000 residents of Ije-Ododo and neighbouring communities will have access to primary healthcare services in the facility.
He said as a responsible corporate social organisation, the bank’s intervention in the primary healthcare sector aligned with its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) approach anchored on citizenship, impact management, strategic education, as well as the health and welfare of the immediate and remote communities of Lagos State and other parts of the country.
In his words: “The completion and opening of the primary healthcare centre is to ensure that Ije-Ododo community will become healthier and wealthier since health is wealth.”
In his goodwill message, the Baale of Ije-Ododo, Dr. Abu Jelili Ododo, who spoke in company of the Oba of Iba and Baale of Ijagemo, applauded Governor Sanwo-Olu for the timely completion of the healthcare centre and appealed for the construction of the Ijegun-Ije-Ododo-Abule-Ado road to link the Badagry Expressway, adding that it was high time the Ije-Ododo Community was provided with a motorable road to ease the sufferings of residents.
Responding to the request for the road, Jaji assured that the Lagos State government under Sanwo-Olu was poised to build the road but that the project suffered some setback due to agitations by some members of the community over the location of the project, adding however, that as soon as the governor settles down for his second tenure, construction work will begin on the road.