Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has directed the Rivers State Commissioner for Health and Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to sign a new agreement with PAMO University of Medical Sciences for the training of Rivers students in medicine and related fields.
The governor said the renewal of the agreement will enable PAMO university to continue to support the State to accelerate the production of the much needed skilled medical manpower and professionals to service the healthcare system and enhance healthcare delivery.
Governor Wike stated this when the board of trustees, governing council and management of PAMO University of Medical Sciences led by the Pro-Counsellor and former governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili paid a courtesy call on him in Government House, Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
The governor noted with excitement how PAMO University of Medical Sciences has, within just five years of its establishment, become a centre of excellence in the training of medical doctors, pharmacists, medical technologists, and other healthcare professionals for the State and the country at large.
“The agreement between we and PAMO University is expiring by December. It will be proper for the interest of our children to have another agreement so that the government that is coming in will understand that we have an agreement with this university to train our children who want to be medical doctors, pharmacists, lab scientists, biochemists.”
It will be recalled that the Governor Wike’s administration had in 2018 instituted a scholarship scheme and signed an agreement with the PAMO University of Medical Sciences for the training of not less than 100 indigenous students studying medicine and other related courses in the University.
The special scholarship programme has benefitted over 500 Rivers State students who are pursuing various medical courses in PAMO University of Medical Sciences from inception to date.
The governor said the renewal of the agreement with PAMO University of Medical Sciences will avail more indigent students of Rivers extraction, who want to study medicine and other related courses, the opportunity to actualise their dreams.
“We will encourage our students who want to read medicine and other related courses. We are here for our children, we are here for our people, whatever money that comes in should be used maximally for the interest of our people.”
The governor reiterated that his administration remains committed to support any Rivers indigene who is willing to establish private university in the State. He regretted that five years after he first made the offer, no one has dared to emulate Dr Odili to establish a private university in the State.
Governor Wike expressed delight that with the support of the State government, PAMO University of Medical Sciences has the necessary educational infrastructures that has continued to propel its growth and capacity to deliver on its mandate.
“As the first private university in the State, you have not disappointed us. There are some people who will come up to say they need support being the first private university in our State, and after two years you will ask what is happening.”
The Rivers State governor assured that his administration will not relent in its support for PAMO University of Medical Sciences to enable it realise its mandate.
Governor Wike said the Consul General of United States embassy in Nigeria, Mr Will Stevens, after a tour of the Dr Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Diagnostic and Treatment Centre has indicated interest to support the State government achieve its objective of establishing the world class specialist hospital.
Earlier, the Pro-Counsellor of PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Dr Peter Odili, lauded governor Wike for the grants provided for the university as well as other forms of support to indigent students studying medicine and other related courses in the institution.
He said the scholarship offered to five hundred and fifty nine Rivers indigenes studying in the university will lift their families out of poverty.
Dr Odili stated that when all the students on scholarship graduate, governor Wike would have succeeded in training no less than 400 medical doctors.
The Pro-Counsellor explained by December, 2022, the first set of students who studied Nursing Sciences will be inducted as qualified Staff Nurses, Staff Midwives, and Public Health Nurses.
Dr Odili, who described governor Wike as the best governor the State has produced, noted that the governor’s investment in the health sector would, in the near future, make Rivers State highest producer of medical professionals in the country.