Hope rises for Oyo townspeople as Makinde aims to complete LAUTECH Teaching Hospital annex 13 years after

Initiated 13 years ago by the late former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala but abandoned thereafter, the multi-million naira Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital annex in Oyo town never took off. It deteriorated, leaving the people bewildered as their health needs suffered. However, there is hope for the people as Governor Seyi Makinde is set to complete this project. SOJI AJIBOLA writes.

The political landscape of Oyo State has witnessed a dramatic change since Engineer Seyi Makinde assumed office as the governor of the state close to five years ago, as he has been able to change the age-long narrative of abandoned projects. This style of governance has further endeared him to the heart of the people and as well confirmed his stance on continuity in governance.

In almost five years in office, it is on record that the Governor Makinde-led administration has been able to complete close to 85 percent of the projects initiated but not completed by his predecessors in office due to lack of funds and limited time.

Such projects, according to findings, include Moniya-Iseyin Road, Old Ife-Airport Road, Taki-Federal Government College, Ogbomoso Road, among others, in the 33 Local Government Areas of the state.

Recently, residents and non-residents of Oyo town have expressed concern over what seemed to them as an abandoned project, namely the multi-million naira Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Oyo annex, situated along the old Oyo-Ogbomoso road.

The project, which was initiated by the late former governor, Chief Adebayo Alao Akala, did not receive any attention throughout the eight years of the late Governor Abiola Ajimobi.

The project that was supposed to be of benefit to the people of Oyo town and adjoining communities had become the home of rodents and reptiles.

Not only that, the roofs have opened up to sunshine and torrential rainfall, and if necessary measures are not taken, the walls might soon cave in.

A source blamed the present state of the edifice on the insensitivity of the previous administrations in the state.

It was stated that the project was hurriedly commissioned when it was far from being completed for political reasons.

According to the source, “I cannot imagine that a project of this nature will be abandoned by a previous administration when taxpayers’ money has been invested in it.

“The General Hospital that is sharing boundary with the proposed LAUTECH, Oyo annex is not having enough space to accommodate patients, while the other one is lying waste and unattended to.”

Sharing his views on the project, a prince of Oyo town from Alowolodu Royal House, Prince Folaranmi Emmanuel Oladebo, disclosed that prior to the construction of the hospital complex, there was an Advancing Nursing Centre in the town.

He said the people of the town were given assurance that LAUTECH Teaching Hospital would be sited in the town, but the story later changed as the late Governor Alao-Akala moved it to Ogbomoso.

As a means of consoling the people of the town, according to him, these buildings were put in place as an annex of the LAUTECH Teaching Hospital.

“But the irony of it is that we did not know which of the hospital sections or departments it would accommodate.

“From what we gathered, we were told that the project was not completed before it was commissioned by the late Governor Alao-Akala.

“I have been bedridden for some time now, but from what I gathered, they only plastered and painted the outer part of the buildings, while its inner parts were left unattended to.

“The building could not stand the test of time because of the shoddy job done. The aluminum roof could not withstand the harsh weather conditions.

“Our appeal to Governor Makinde is to ensure that the project is completed and put into use before the expiry of his tenure in 2027.

“In the alternative, it may be converted to an extension of the General Hospital in order for it to have more space to accommodate patients.

“The Physiotherapy Department at the General Hospital is not spacious and comfortable enough to accommodate patients suffering from either partial or total paralysis.

“We are of the opinion that the project is turned into an extension of the General Hospital. With adequate equipment, there will be no need for patients to travel to Ibadan or Ogbomoso to access medical facilities.”

He also dispelled the rumour of the perceived disagreement between Alao-Akala and the late Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Aderemi, which to some people necessitated the abandonment of the project.

He submitted: “There is nothing like that. The government has power to carry out projects as deemed fit in any part of the state. If truly there was a disagreement between the duo, as being rumoured, there would not be any structure in place as we are having today.

“Also, if the people of Oyo town felt disenchanted, they would have protested, as well as insisted that the project must be relocated to Ogbomoso. But there was nothing like that.

“The indigenes of Oyo town are progressively minded. We are of the opinion that the project will be useful one day.

“As I earlier mentioned, the Advanced Nursing Training Centre is back in Oyo town. The structure is not a waste. It can be used for the expansion of either the Training Centre or the General Hospital.

“However, we are hopeful that Governor Makinde, in line with his vision of completing all the projects initiated by his predecessors in office, will do something about the project.

“Also, we are calling on the governor to set up a fact-finding team to know why the project is in that state and come up with a solution.

“They should summon the contractor that handled the project in order to find out the contract cost, amount paid and received and why the project is left uncompleted.”

Corroborating the view of Prince Oladebo, Prince Afolabi Ademola Adeseun Adesetan Atiba said the project in question was started by Alao-Akala in 2011 and since then, nothing has been done on it.

“What we heard was that the structure was going to be an annex of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso. The project, aside boosting the socio-economic development of the town when completed, will also ease the burden of travelling to either Ogbomoso or Ibadan for medical treatment.

“If there is an annex of the Teaching Hospital in Oyo, there will be proper and adequate medicare for the people. The General Hospital has limited functions when compared with the Teaching Hospital.

“The mortality rate among the youth with kidney-related issues in Oyo is appalling. Whereas, with a Teaching Hospital in place, a thorough research will be carried out on the root causes of some of these ailments and possible solutions will be provided.

“We have lost many of our best brains to some of these preventable diseases. But if these buildings that we are talking about are well furnished and put into use, the mortality rate among the youth will be drastically reduced.

“Our appeal to our amiable Governor Makinde is to ensure that the buildings are fully utilised. It will be on record that during his time, the multi-million naira hospital complex abandoned by his predecessors was completed and put into use like other projects across the 33 Local Government Areas.”

Meanwhile, the state government has assured the people of Oyo town and adjoining communities that in no distant time, the project will be completed.

Governor Makinde had said at different fora that all the projects initiated by his predecessors and those by his own administration would be completed before the expiration of his tenure.

Confirming this, the tate Commissioner for Health, Dr Oluwaserimi Ajetumobi, said: “Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital, Oyo annex has not been abandoned. It is not an abandoned project.

“The state government is working on it. As I am speaking with you, there is provision for that project in the 2024 budget and we are working on it.

People should be rest assured that the Oyo State government has not abandoned and will not abandon that project. Very soon, work will start on it. There is no problem with that project.

“That project remains Ladoke Akintola Teaching Hospital, Oyo annex. That name will not be changed.

“The people of Oyo town and adjoining communities will soon start to enjoy the facilities of the tertiary hospital.

“Governor Makinde places a high premium on the health sector and will not play politics with the health of the people, hence the upgrading of the medical facilities in all the Local Government Areas of the state.

“When it comes to the wellbeing of the people of Oyo State, Governor Makinde has always made people understand that there is no PDP or APC. We are all one as citizens of Oyo State.”

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