The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has re-stated its resolve to always intervene in the critical sectors of health and education in line with its mandate for the development of the Niger Delta region.
The Chairman of the NDDC Governing Board, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN, stated this during a courtesy visit by a delegation from the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Calabar, Cross River State, led by Dr Joseph Okegbe, the Medical Director.
Senator Ndoma-Egba underlined the importance of health and education in the affairs of any nation, assuring that the NDDC would step up its contributions in those areas. “Fortunately for us, health is part of the core mandate of the NDDC,” he said.
The NDDC Chairman said that he was familiar with the challenges facing the neuropsychiatric hospital and promised that the Commission would assist as much as possible in addressing them.
He said: “Time has come for us to do more in the health sector. We must do more in health and education. We cannot do that without providing basic infrastructure in these areas.
“The main resource of any nation is human beings and for the human beings to be a resource not a curse, they must be healthy, educated and motivated. Indeed, the real resource of any nation is the education of its young people. If you want to invest in a nation, education of the youths is the best option.”
The Medical Director, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Dr Joseph Okegbe, acknowledged the fact that NDDC was an intervention agency and therefore, could not solve all the problems in the health sector. He said, however, that the hospital was urgently in need of assistance in the area of power supply, internal roads and accommodation.
Dr Okegbe stated that “the neuropsychiatric hospital is a specialist hospital dedicated to the provision of healthcare in the area of neuropsychiatry. He emphasized that “it is the only hospital providing specialized service of this nature to the whole of Cross River State, Akwa Ibom State, Rivers State, Ebonyi State and even beyond.”
He listed the core services provided by the institution, which included routine and specialized treatment of neuropsychiatric cases, research in neuropsychiatry, residency training of medical doctors, and training of psychiatric nurses, among others.
The Medical Director lamented that the hospital had no alternative means of power supply, noting that routine services were usually interrupted and the entire hospital thrown into darkness whenever public power supply failed.
He also appealed to the NDDC to help the hospital to complete its perimeter fence and construct the internal road network in its permanent site.