By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar
All is now set by the Cross River State government to begin the construction of 400 housing units to be owned by medical and health workers in the state, irrespective of the rank or salary grade level of such medical and health worker under the employment of the state government.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Betta Edu, disclosed this while fielding questions from our correspondent in Calabar at weekend, shortly after the ground breaking ceremony/site inspection, led by Secretary to State Government, SSG, Tina Banku Agobor was conducted.
Under the new housing scheme policy initiated by the the Prof. Ben Ayade-led administration, senior, middle and low level health workers will own their own houses in Cross River State.
Edu stated that with the housing accommodation, health workers would put in their very best to ensure that there is a healthy society for people to co-exist, stressing that no meaningful progress can be made in a society where a huge percentage of the population density is sick.
Insisting that the housing accommodation would go a long way to motivate health workers, who had staked their lives working round the clock to ensure that there was a healthy society for people to co-exist, Mrs Edu said that the houses will spur beneficiaries (medical and health workers) to redoubled their efforts, do more in the area of catering for those who are in dire need of medical attention, as they now have good accommodation to lay their heads after work, without bothering themselves on how to pay rent.
She said, “This is a strong motivation and incentive for front line health workers, who sacrifice their time to ensure the population remains healthy, especially at a time where the workforce has been stretched by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With the 400 housing units, over 400 families that will end up providing shelter to over 2,400 persons; the impact will be of great benefit and immense help to our people.”
She further stressed that access roads will be done as soon as possible in order to add value to the project.
Expressing happiness over the housing project, the Health Commissioner said, “I’m so excited that the initiative started at a time when I served the state as DG of the state Primary Health Care Development Agency; and today I am proud that we’re making positive progress.
The commissioner described housing scheme as a necessity that ought to be statutory for all category of workers, so that they would be motivated to work harder, while having something to fall back on when they finally retire from service.
The health workers housing estate, which is sited along Akim Akim community, Odukpani Local Government Area of the state, have both two and three bedroom bungalows and are to be completed in 24 months!