By Asmau Ahmad
The Rivers State Government, on Monday, said it would partner with Chinese government in building a 1,000-bed specialist hospital at the cost of 303 million dollars (N58.2 billion) in the state. The Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Dr Sampson Parker, said this during the signing of contract agreement between Rivers State and Chinese governments for the hospital. Parker said that the Chinese government would contribute 85 per cent of the cost of building the hospital, while the state government would contribute 15 per cent.
He added that the hospital would be specialized in mother and child ailments.
The commissioner said “we are working with a budget of 303 million dollars, out of which, Rivers government will contribute 15 per cent, while Chinese government will bring the rest of the money to finish the hospital, equip it to our own specification and hand it over to Rivers government.’’
Parker said the Rivers government conceived the idea of building the hospital in 2009 but had a problem with the contractor and terminated the contract.
According to him, the hospital will be built in the Greater Port Harcourt Area which cuts across many local government councils in the state.
Mrs Jule Chu, the Chinese government representative who signed for her country said China had over four billion dollars in its reserve.
Chu said Chinese government would spend much of its reserve to fund developmental projects in Africa.
She said Jiangu First Electric Construction Company of China Energy Engineering Group would handle the project.
She said “in China, we have over four billion dollars in government reserve now; the Chinese government will like to use more of the resources to fund and support the development of Africa.
“The Chinese government will, however, want the Rivers State government to pay little amount of money as down payment.’’
Chu hoped that the contract would be the beginning of a long term relationship and collaboration between Rivers and Chinese government.
The 1,000-bed specialised hospital project is expected to be completed in two years.