By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has commissioned the state-of-the-art Nasarawa State Infectious Diseases, Diagnosis and Research Centre, in Lafia, the state capital.
Performing the ceremony on Tuesday, the Vice President, described the centre as a landmark achievement, the first of its kind in West Africa and probably across the entire continent.
While commending both the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura, for initiating the project, as well as incumbent Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, for ensuring that the vision came to fruition, VP Osinbajo said the edifice is a notable scientific and technological achievement worthy of celebration.
In his speech during the event, the Vice President noted that Nasarawa State, which is not among the wealthiest states in country, in terms of earnings and federal allocation, but that with a vision, the state has shown that vision is even more important than money.
He however commended Engineer Sule, who by building on the vision started by Senator Al-makura, has ensured continuity in governance, thereby bringing much needed development to the state.
“I want to commend the Governor for acknowledging the leadership and vision of his predecessor. This is as it should be and this demonstrates his own personal capacity, his humility and vision as well,” he stated.
Speaking on the state of affairs of the nation, VP Osinbajo urged Nigerians not to despair, especially with a purposeful leader like President Muhammadu Buhari, who has remained focused, in spite of the challenges confronting the country.
According to the Vice President, Nigeria is a great nation and as such Nigerians must never despair, assuring that the country will come out stronger despite the challenge posed by the COVID-19 and some security issues.
Earlier in his remarks, Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said his administration committed enormous resources in completing the NASIDARC, following its resolve to not only complete projects initiated by the previous government but also to improve on the living condition of the people of the state, through the provision of quality healthcare service.
The Governor recalled that prior to now, diagnosis of several infectious diseases like lassa fever, yellow fever, measles, cerebrospinal meningitis, as well as COVID-19, were conducted outside the state.
Engineer Sule said the multi billion naira facility, comprising a biosafety level 3 laboratory, a molecular biology laboratory, an infectious diseases centre and an epidemiological centre for young scientists on vaccines and drugs development, will also serve as a research hub.
Engineer Sule then commended the Federal Government for supporting the state in the areas of equipment, as well as other critical facilities.
“We will continue to cherish Federal Government support, intervention and partnership, in our collective development of our dear state,” he said.
Top dignitaries that witnessed the event include, Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, Hon. Justice Suleiman Umaru Dikko, State Commissioner for Health, Hon. Ahmed Baba Yahaya and the Sectretary to the Government of Nasarawa State, Barrister Muhammad Ubandoma Aliyu.