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Edo State Govt Orders Contractors to Commence Reconstruction Work at Ekiosa Market, as Obaseki Inspects Newly Refurbished Aruogba PHC

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By Violet Osatohanmwen Obamwonyi

As part of its grassroots development roadmap for a holistic and all-inclusive distribution of developmental benefits across different strata of the state, Edo State Government has ordered contractors to commence reconstruction work at Ekiosa Market, located at Second East Circular Road, in Benin City.

Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki disclosed this during a tour of the market and inspection of the newly refurbished Aruogba Primary Healthcare Center (PHC), at Irhirhi, in Benin City, on Monday March 4 2024, emphasizing that investment in local markets, primary healthcare centers, and other essential facilities contributes to the enhancement of community-level infrastructures.

Obaseki noted that a directive has since been issued for the reconstruction work to commence at Ekiosa Market, as contractors for the project have been given an ultimatum till the end of March 2024 to move to the project site. He remarked that his commitment to rebuilding the market and rehabilitating primary healthcare centers in the state stems from the recognition that the initiatives not only address immediate needs but also establish a robust foundation for sustained and enduring growth.

Obaseki who met with heartwarming cheers by Ekiosa market traders assured that all necessary arrangements have been put in place to commence work at the market, emphasizing the urgency of action before the onset of the rainy season while pledging financial support for farming initiatives, geared at bolstering local food production in the state.

The Governor highlighted his administration’s initiatives to alleviate the current difficulties faced by residents in the state, while also calling on the federal government to embrace a people-oriented approach in addressing the prevailing economic distress.

According to Obaseki, “I am anxious that this project starts immediately because you can see that the people who used to trade here are forced to trade in a very difficult environment. In terms of concepts and designs, I think we are trying to ensure that a lot of thinking goes into the design because this is a project that is going to be used by thousands of people on a daily basis.

“We want to learn from the other markets that have been built over the years, making sure that there is enough ventilation, enough space, enough control and also amenities in the market. It is a lot of work but I believe that with the amount of work that has been done till date, we will have a very successful project. Before the end of this March, I expect the contractors to move to the site.”

The Governor also inspected the ongoing rehabilitation of Irhirhi Primary Healthcare Center, noting that part of his administration’s healthcare reforms is to decentralize healthcare operation in the state. Obaseki stressed the need for neighborhood clinics which serve as the first point of call for basic healthcare services, focusing on preventive care, early detection and management of common health issues.

Obaseki said: “Thinking about our healthcare system, the important thing is that we have decentralized healthcare, no more central hospitals. Our plan is to ensure that residents in Edo State do not have to drive more than a certain distance to seek healthcare, and one of the major plans at that point was to focus on what we called primary health care, that is neighborhood clinics. But if these neighborhood clinics are not there or they are not of a certain standard or they are not mounted by professionally qualified people, you will not go there.

“So, part of the health improvement plan is first, to build standard neighborhood clinics, for people to get the same quality of care that they get from central hospitals. And the plan is to build about a hundred of these set of facilities across the state. Fortunately, we have many of these centers in one form or the other. So the plan is to continue to improve and upgrade them.”

“But key to this is not the building you see, but the quality of people who will manage these facilities. That is why we are investing in healthcare institutions like the school of nursing and the school of health technology, because this is the school that will provide the manpower you require to man these facilities across the state,” he added.

Speaking on the newly refurbished PHC facility at Irhiri, Obaseki noted: “Every ward, every populated neighborhood must have a neighborhood clinic which we call the Primary Healthcare Center. And it would have all the basic facilities as you have seen here. This has a 14-bed facility; seven for male and seven for female. People can be on admission here; it has a theater; it has accommodation for doctors. We are trying to build about a hundred of these. Today we have refurbished about 40 and we have 60 more to go, that is the plan.”

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