By Brenda Agba
Benue State Governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia has reactivated the bond between the Benue State Government and medical students of College of Health Sciences, Benue State University.
The Governor disclosed this Monday in Makurdi at the 9th Professional Induction and Admission Ceremony for 2023 Graduating Doctors of the College of Health Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi.
According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Tersoo Kula, Alia said, “by the bonding arrangement, the state government will place all medical students of the institution on monthly allowances of ₦103,000 till graduation, but on the condition that they must compulsorily serve the state for not less than two years before taking a decision on whether to stay or leave for other engagements”.
Recall that he bonding agreement was introduced by the Sen. Gabriel Suswam’s administration but was scraped during Dr. Samuel Ortom’s government, a development that made graduates of the school to continuously leave the state in search of greener pastures.
The governor pointed out that, “Medical Doctors of Benue extraction who left the state and shores of the country in search of greener pastures should know that I, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia is here now and is going to make the pasture greener in Benue. They are welcome back”
He also promised to always support the state owned university to achieve the clear terms of his administration’s policy statements.
He commended the vision and mission of the founding fathers and staff of the university’s medical school, whom he said conceived the idea, endured so many challenges and were able to build the institution from the foundation to its present level.
Governor Alia who also commended the medical graduates of the institution for giving a good account of themselves while plying their trade as doctors across the world, stated further that the admission quota into the MBBS programme at the institution has been increased from 75 to 150 students by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), due to the quality of medical facilities and doctors produced by the institution.
Reiterating the readiness of the current administration to support the institution to continue to produce high quality medical personnel to properly serve society, the governor recalled how he had in 2013, while serving as Priest In Charge of St. Thomas’ Catholic Church Anum, in Makurdi, donated 481 volumes of books to the university.
He called on all professional health workers of Benue origin to come home and contribute to the growth of the health institutions, insisting that the precarious state of the health sector in the state was the reason the state government under his watch decided to place all medical doctors on National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in state, on a monthly allowance of N100, 000.00 to serve as an incentive for them to stay back after the orientation course to serve the state.
Explaining further, Governor Alia stated that it was due to the poor state of the health sector that upon assumption of office, his administration also took the bold step of paying the 2023 Medical Residency Allowance to all deserving resident doctors at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, to facilitate their training without interruption.
He thanked Dr. TAB Sanusi, the Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, for his immense interest in the growth of the BSU Medical College, charging the entire BSU, which he described as a major stakeholder in the rebuilding of the state, to pay greater attention to the needs and expectations of the state in addressing the many socio-economic challenges confronting it on different fronts.
The Induction Ceremony and Hippocratic Oath Taking of the 41 new doctors has taken the total number of doctors produced by Benue State University College of Health Sciences since 2015 to 357.