Gowon heads centenary charity trust fund

By The Citizen

Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd) has been appointed to head a 12-man Board of Trustees of Nigeria Centenary Charities Trust (NCCT).

The Board which was inaugurated today is meant to raise, manage funds for the implementation of projects recommended for execution. The aim is not to build new A but to equip units that are lacking in facilities in the hospitals across the country.

Other members are former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Emeka Anyoaku,  who is the Vice Chairman of the Board, Amadu Ali, former PDP Chairman, Doyin Abiola, the Akwa Ibom First Lady, Ekaette Unoma Akpabio (represented by the state’s Commissioner of Women Affairs), HRM King A. J. Turner, Justice Fatima Abubakar, Abdulsamad Rabiu, Austin Ufomba, Ms. Ijeoma Nwaogwugwu, Sam Nwaobasi, and Dr. Kingsley Esegbue, who is to serve as secretary.

The primary focus of board is to improve the country’s health care to complement existing programmes/projects of the federal and state governments across the country.

Gowon in his acceptance remarks, said good health is what all desire and deserve. While thanking God for good health he noted that many Nigerians are in desire of good health but cannot afford it.

The former Head of State who is also the champion of Nigeria prays, commended the government’s initiative to celebrate Nigeria’s centenary by giving back to Nigerians world class health facilities.

He commended the fact that the world class health facilities would be made possible by the collective effort of all Nigerians, the wealthy, the kind hearted and corporate citizens of the country.

“Health is a significant component in the fight against poverty for indeed poverty, diseases and illiteracy can be said to be related. Celebrating Nigeria by giving back to Nigerians world class health facilities is innovative and welcome. It is even more interesting that this dream will be made possible by the collective effort of us all, the wealthy, the kind hearted and corporate citizens of this country.

Gowon recalled President Goodluck Jonathan’s 53rd Independence Day Speech where he said, “we have a duty as Nigerians, whatever our differences or prejudices to always put Nigeria first”.

“It is on the strength of the above that I humbly invite all Nigerians – the private sector, the privileged and our institutions to rise to the challenge to provide Nigerians with good health facilities as part of our gift to ourselves for our centenary celebration.

“We all desire and deserve the National  Referral Centers for Heart Diseases; Kidney Diseases; Neurosurgery, Burns and Plastics; Radiology etc. We deserve a center where every new born in Nigeria with peculiar health challenges would be cared for. We need these and more.

“Nigeria good or bad we have got to accept it to right the wrong and put things right.

“I have no doubt the governments at all levels will support this initiative, for indeed, we are all in this for the good of us all.

“Our board is to ensure that when the fund is raised from the public for the provision of health facilities, it will be used judiciously and accountably for the benefit of all Nigerians”

The date for the charity ball would be made known to the public.

He assured that the money will be used judiciously and accountably for the benefit of Nigerians, adding “we pledge our commitment to the success of this initiative”, he said.

Earlier in his remarks, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, said the objective of the Nigeria Centenary Charity Ball (NCCB) are in tandem with the vision of the centenary celebration, which is to provide Nigerians with legacy projects that will make celebration not only memorable but also beneficial to all Nigerians.

He said the initiative is meant to complement governments effort in critical areas already on going  such as polio eradication campaign, maternal and child healthcare programmes, mid-wives training, and provisions for foreign training for specialists doctors among others.

Anyim commended the calibre of Nigerians on the board who have accepted to help drive the process and bring to fruition the objective of the initiatives.

The projects include Nigeria Centenary Children Hospital, Nigeria Centenary Primary Healthcare Centers (50 units disadvantaged communities across the Federation) to be handed over to local or faith based not for profit organizations as maybe applicable and decided by the Trust, National Centre for Excellence in Medical Care (National Post Graduate Medical College to research and promote excellent patienet experience in healthcare facilities across Nigeria).