Okorocha concessions Imo hospitals for 25 years
• Gives N1b lifeline to each, PDP kicks, promises action on policy
Eight days to the end of his administration, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha has leased out some state-owned hospitals to churches, private investors, Nigerian Army, Air Force and Navy for upward management.
Okorocha, who spoke at the handover ceremony held at Government House, Owerri, yesterday, said the lease period was 25 years with 18 years moratorium and a monthly rentage of N100,000 through Public Private Partnership (PPP).
He said that the decision aimed at ensuring quality healthcare delivery and to fast-tract development in the health sector of the state.
He said: “We adopted the PPP system five years ago to accelerate the development of the health and education sectors and the state will do better with this. It is not a way to sell off government property but a lease for purpose of development.”
He, therefore, said that a whopping N1 billion would be expended on each of the hospitals, noting that renewal of each lease is dependant on performance.
The hospitals are the Okigwe General Hospital concessioned to the Anglican Diocese of Owerri, Ehime Mbano General Hospital to the Diocese of Okigwe South, Isiala Mbano General Hospital (Isi Mbano Diocese), among others.
But in a sharp reaction, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said the outgoing governor had no right to take anyhow action on facilities built with Imo money.
Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Damian Opara, told The Guardian: “Okorocha has no right to use Imo money like that. When Chief Emeka Ihedioha comes in, he will know what to do.”