The Kwara State Executive Council has approved the upgrading of the General Hospital, Ilorin, to Kwara State University Hospital.
The decision was announced at a press briefing held at the Government House in Ilorin on Wednesday.
The teaching hospital, according to the Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminat El-Imam, will support the training of medical students and related professionals at the Kwara State University, a major step that involves huge facility upgrades at the General Hospital, which has been adopted for this purpose.
She said the council observed that recent facility upgrades under the AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq administration had earlier qualified the general hospital as a postgraduate training health institution and went ahead to approve an additional N906.7 million seed fund to push through the historic transition.
“The proposed seed fund will meet the cost of infrastructural facelifts and construction of new ones, equipment upgrades, administrative changes, and address manpower needs to support the training of medical students, which is complementary to the ongoing postgraduate training,” El-Imam told journalists, adding that “this will be of immense benefit to the people of Kwara State and the nation at large.”
The commissioner said the council approved the government’s proposal to present a bill on ‘Establishment of the Kwara State Teaching Hospital and related matters’ to the House of Assembly.
At a council meeting on Wednesday, the government also approved the award of redesigning and wholesale rebuilding the iconic Kwara Hotel into a five-star hospitality facility. The contract was awarded to Craneburg Construction Company Limited at the sum of N17b.8bn for 24 months.
To be done through a contract financing model to ensure prompt delivery, the construction and furnishing will be comprehensive since the hotel was constructed by the pioneer governor of the state, Brigadier-General David Bamigboye, in 1975.
The contract award followed a long procurement process that began in September 2023.
This is coming as the Kwara State Ministry of Works and Transport also announced immediate reconstruction works on the Wahab Folawiyo, Unity Road in Ilorin, the state capital, following the state executive council’s approval of the overhauling of the major artery road that empties into downtown Ilorin.
Coordinating Commissioner for Works and Transport AbdulQuawiy Olododo told journalists that phased works on the road, such as asphalt milling, will begin next week with minimal drags on vehicular traffic at every stage of the work.
The contractor will complete work on one lane before working on the other to reduce traffic gridlock, Olododo added.
“We are not demolishing any private properties and business premises not sited on government’s setbacks will not be eaten into in any way,” according to Olododo.
The road, whose history began in 1976, is a great legacy of the late Colonel Ibrahim Taiwo and George Agbazika Innih.
The cabinet observed that the artery road has outlived its lifespan as it has started failing after decades of heavy use.
The council’s approval of the work fell under the urban renewal and developmental road projects of the administration, conceived to lessen travel time, boost economic growth, give a new look to the capital city, and improve the living conditions of the people.
The contract was awarded to the A-list Craneburg Construction firm at the cost of N1,513,528,195.18k