The Founder of ASR Initiative, Alhaji AbdulSamad Rabiu, has pledged to complete the construction of the N2.5bn cancer centre within 12 months.
Rabiu said in Ilorin during the firm’s presentation of the prototype of the facility to the state government.
According to him, the oncology and diagnostic centre donated to Kwara Government will commence in August and be completed within one year.
Represented by the Group Executive Director of BUA Group, Alhaji Rabiu Kabir, he pointed out that the specialist facility would be the best for the treatment of cancer in West Africa.
“ASR Initiative Africa was initiated with the sum of 100m dollars for each year towards education, health and social development in Africa.
“We have decided to intervene in health care in four states in Nigeria, with an investment of N2.5 billion in each of the four states.
“The project in Kwara interests us very well. What will be built in the state will be a standalone hospital which will be the largest in West Africa. This will go a long way in reducing the pains of our people.
“We have seen the seriousness of Kwara State Government. We are ready and we will move to site in August. The project will be completed within 12 months,” he said.
The business mogul said the facility would complement the “huge investments” of the governor in human capital development and the health sector.
He described the recently concluded Intensive Care Unit (ICU) facility of the administration as a watershed.
“I congratulate His Excellency for the achievements recorded in education, health and infrastructure within the last two years.
“You have done well especially on the 12-bed ICU, and this aligns with our vision to partner serious governments to make impact on health care,” Rabiu said.
Responding, Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq commended the ASR chief for his huge donations and other supports to the state, including another N1 billion to the University of Ilorin.
The governor said the administration has taken deliberate steps in revamping the health sector to make the state the go-to place for medical tourism in the north and some South Western states.
AbdulRazaq added that this initiative would be another major attraction for the General Hospital in Ilorin and the state.
“It is going to become a big deal for healthcare and Kwara will become the hub of medical tourism, especially in specialist care for states like Niger, Kogi, Osun, Ekiti and some parts of South West states.
“We cannot quantify the huge benefits of these infrastructures we are putting in place. At the backend of it, is the potential for the IGR of the state.
“We will also be attracting experts in this field, while the research that will be done in the facility will open new frontiers in cancer management.
“What we’re doing here is a whole lot of masterpieces that will make Kwara a cancer centre in West Africa,” he said.
AbdulRazaq stated that health was priority and that since inception his administration had made significant impacts.
Speaking also, Dr Raji Rasaq, the state Commissioner for Health, said the present administration place high premium on the health sector and it is enjoying the support of relevant donors.
According to him, Kwara has now become a fertile state, unlike in the past when it was rejected by donors as the government was prioritising the health sector and now attracting all the support that is necessary.
“He has invested hugely in the health sector and equipped a lot of hospitals and health facilities with the determination to reduce maternal mortality to the barest minimum,” he added.
Dr Nusirat Elelu, the Executive Secretary, Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, also commended the ASR Africa Initiative for choosing the state for the laudable project.
“This intervention will go a long way in reducing medical tourism and help patients from the North Central zone and some parts of the South West.
“We will manage the cancer centre very well to attract more interventions from the Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative and other organisations.
“Since the news broke that Kwara State will be host to the largest oncology centre in West Africa, we have been receiving a lot of congratulatory messages.
“We are confident that Kwara State will be a delightful host,” she said.
ASR Africa Initiative is established by African industrialist, philanthropist and founder of Nigeria’s BUA Group, AbdulSamad Rabiu.
The programme seeks to support sustainable development initiatives in health, education and social development within Nigeria and the rest of Africa.