By Amos Aar
BENUE State governor, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, has restored the bonding agreement between medical students of the College of Health Sciences, Benue State University (BSU), Makurdi and the Benue State government.
The governor announced this Monday at the 9th induction/oath taking ceremony for 2023 graduating doctors of the College of Health Sciences, Benue State University, Makurdi.
The bonding agreement was introduced by the Gabriel Suswam administration but was scraped during Samuel Ortom’s government, a development that made graduates of the school to continuously leave the state in search of greener pastures.
According to the bonding arrangement, the state government will place all medical students of the institution on a monthly allowance of one hundred and three thousand naira (₦103,000) till graduation. However, this is with a pre-condition that they must serve the state for not less than two years before taking a decision on whether to stay or leave for other engagements.
The governor also promised to always support the state-owned university to achieve the clear terms of his administration’s policy statements.
He made it known that the admission quota into the MBBS programme at the BSU has increased from 75 to 150 students by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) due to the quality of medical facilities and doctors produced by the institution.
Governor Alia called on all professional health workers of Benue origin to come home and contribute to the growth of the health institutions, insisting that the precarious state of the health sector in the state was the reason the state government under his watch decided to place all medical doctors on National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in state, on a monthly allowance of N100,000 to serve as an incentive for them to stay back after the orientation course to serve the state.
He further pointed out that upon resumption of office, his administration took a bold step of paying the 2023 medical residency allowance to all deserving resident doctors at the BSU Teaching Hospital to facilitate the training of resident doctors without interruption.
He thanked the Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Dr TAB Sanusi, for his interest in the growth of the BSU Medical College and charged the entire university to pay greater attention to the needs and expectations of the state in addressing the many socio-economic challenges confronting it.
The induction ceremony and Hippocratic Oath-taking of the 41 new doctors brought the total number of doctors produced by the University since 2015 to 357.