Governor David Umahi has disclosed that over N80b have so far been spent by the state government in the establishment of the King David University of Medical Sciences located at Uburu in Ebonyi State.
Umahi, who was speaking during a courtesy visit to the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arch Sonny Echono on Wednesday, also solicited a take-off fund for the university.
“We are soliciting for take-off fund. That university; we have sunk over N80b in that university. If it is done by any other agency, I am sure that N150b cannot do it. I am not boasting about that,” he said.
He also stated that his reason for the visit was to congratulate the executive secretary for the new job which was based on his exemplary job in the country, adding that his appointment as the TETFund boss will bring a huge transformation to the Fund.
“I am here to congratulate my brother for his promotion based on the job he has done for the country and to thank him for his exemplary public service. Whenever you call him he picks and it is not because I am governor. Ordinary people are passing through a lot of challenges and if they can’t get at least they should get hope and the only way they can get hope is when you respond to them because you are answerable to them.
“I say to him to do everything he can to fast track projects because of the issue of prices in the market and he has started to address that and I am very happy about that. Having worked in the ministry of works, I know it is a top priority for him. There is no price that is constant in this country within the period of 60 days so since he has started, it means we will definitely succeed.
“I am also here to thank him for the work he is doing in the new seven universities, which one is in my state. The President graciously named the university after me. I am here to say thank you to him. We also have interventions for the university. Before, I could ask the executive secretary had written a letter requesting that the university come up with a proposal. That is how it ought to be. Before now, you have to beg and wait and the project of one year will take up to two years. I shouldn’t be so. I am very with what they are doing for us and what they will still do for us,” he said.
Responding, Echono commended the governor for the transformation he has brought to the state adding the governor has become a standard bearer for measuring public service.
“I want to make bold to say that the executive governor of Ebonyi State is one governor the whole country is proud of; seeing the transformation that has taken place in the state. We all know what the state was in yens of its standing, both within the Southeast and even the entire country. That’s one of the disadvantaged states in terms of infrastructure and educational facilities. But with the transformation that we witnessed under the leadership of his excellency, everybody is taken a cue. It has become a standard bearer for measuring public service and even the delivery of the dividend of democracy as it is captured.
He added that the president was impressed with the structure put in place by the governor in the new Medical Sciences university; with the provision of world-class infrastructure which was why the president didn’t hesitate to name the university after the governor.
“He graciously accepted the federal government to take it over and there was no hesitation in naming it after him to immortalize him to set up an example for other governors to emulate. Our country will grow and develop if people commit themselves to serve the way he has done. We remain proud of his service.
“Besides the university, we are taking over, recall that the federal government has established a College of Education in Ebonyi as well as a federal technical college within the last few years. We are complementing what we call performance base. As you do well, we also complement you to do better. That is the paramount shift,” he said.
The TETFund Boss promised to work with the governor to ensure that the state, as well as the country, benefit from the new university.
“We will be collaborating with the state government as we want to quickly see that transition. We want to see our work translate into benefits for our people. We know what doctor: patient ratio is. We are tired of being on the wrong end of the statistics. We want to produce the right manpower in this country. Reduce the resources we extend annually for medical tourism. By the time we have world calls facilities here, we will be able to treat any ailment and also become a hub for foreigners to come here the same way India has achieved. We are poised to do that in the next few years,” he said.