The Leader of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Peter Pereotubo Akpe has said that the proposed Medical University will be an impetus to medical tourism in the state due to improved medical services and personnel.
Hon Akpe said this at a public forum organized by the House at the Assembly complex, Yenagoa while giving an overview on the Medical University bill and Corporate Social Responsibility bill.
Hon Akpe further said that the importance of the proposed Medical University is crucial in that it will key into existing multi-million naira facilities like the 500-bed hospital which was lying unused for years.
On the Corporate Social Responsibility bill, Hon Akpe, the intention is to get corporate bodies operating in the state to be alive to their ethical and moral responsibilities to their host communities.
He informed the gathering that the bill is also meant to establish a regulatory agency which will help to channel corporate contributions effectively like allocating certain percentages to the education, trust fund, medical insurance and security fund.
Giving the opening remarks at the public hearing, Chairman of the occasion, Hon. Ebiuwou Koku Obiyai assured the public that the House will always ensure the views of the people are reflected in bills passed.
Participants like the Nigerian Bar Association, the Civil Liberties Organization and BANGOF in their contribution cautioned against the enacting of the Corporate Social Responsibility bill by the state stating that it was beyond its jurisdiction.
On the Medical University bill, the Okun of Opokuma Clan, King Okpoitari Diongoli advised that the state should consolidate and strengthen existing medical institutions rather than establishing a new one which is a capital intensive venture.
Other bodies at the public hearing such as ASUU, the Civil Liberties Organisation and the Nigeria Medical Association all expressed concern about its funding prospects and focus more attention of developing existing health institutions.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria however supports its establishment but wants the name to be changed to the University of Health Sciences rather than Medical University.