The Nigeria Government has inaugurated a 1.5 Tesla Elan Vantage, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Suite at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria.
According to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, the inauguration was done to improve the healthcare sector for better healthcare delivery which happens to be part of the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The Minister, who stated this, observed that to underscore the importance attached to health; the Nigerian government has continued to increase allocations to the sector.
Ahmed expressed gratitude over the naming of the MRI suite after her.
“Thank you so much. Thanks to the selection committee. I’m very touched,” she said.
The minister noted that the venture has been initiated based on the necessity to avoid travelling abroad for first-class health and medical care.
Ahmed, however, tasked the management of the hospital on the need to ensure that these increased expenditures are actually improving healthcare outcomes.
Situating the importance of health in the national plan, Ahmed said: “This is why in the administration’s economic blueprint, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), one of the three principal objectives is ‘investing in our people. In particular, in the ERGP, the federal government commits the country to invest in health in order to meet the international targets set under the United Nations (UN) SDGs.”
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, in his remarks, said that the project was aimed at enhancing healthcare delivery within the community of the hospital.
Ehanire, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, Alhaji Abdulaziz Mashi Abdullahi, said the project would enhance the quality of service delivery and health care services, especially in the area of radiology and diagnosis.
The Chief Medical Director, Professor Hamidu A.U, in his welcome speech, said the facility would help to reduce the need for medical trips abroad as the machine is the first of its kind in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.
He lauded the efforts of the government, particularly the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Ahmed, for her commitment and support for the project.
Also speaking, Emir of Zazzau, Ambassador Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, commended the Federal Government on the projects, adding that it would reduce some burden on the people.