By Osaigbovo Iguobaro, Benin
Medical students of Nigeria premier private university, Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo state have been set on edge, following the indefinite suspension of their clinical training at central and Stella Obasanjo women and Children hospital, Benin by the state government.
The State government has terminated an agreement to train medical students of the Igbinedion University, Okada, at its specialist hospitals over debts totaling N350 million along with the accreditation of the first private Independent Television/Radio station owned by the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion. The State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Louis Odion in a statement yesterday said the University had not paid anything to the government since the agreement was entered into on September 1, 2006.
This development is stemming from the controversy being generated by the report of a Catholic priest Reverend Father Peter Udo bothering on alleged assault by aides to Governor Adams Oshiomhole at the weekend.
The cleric was reportedly beaten up for failing to make way for the governor and his guest, Babatunde Raji Fashola – Lagos state governor at the weekend which was erred by ITV/Radio station on last Sunday.
The commissioner, who quoted Adams Oshiomhole, has approved the termination of same with immediate effect, and attributed the failure of the Management of Igbinedion University to honour the terms of a Memoradum of Understanding (MOU) entered into with the State Government.
The MOU was entered into on September 1, 2006 under the Lucky Igbinedion administration to enable the Igbinedion University enjoy the use of the state-owned Central Hospital Benin and Stella Obasanjo Hospital for the practical of her medical students in line with the requirement by the Nigerian University Commission (NUC) and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to grant the school which was founded over 12 years ago accreditation to train medical students in the clinical specialties.
Besides, part of the terms of the said MOU is that the Igbinedion University pays a token as concessionary levy annually to the Edo State Government for the use of the Central Hospital and Stella Obasanjo Hospital for which medical students pay commercial fees to the Igbinedion University.
But the Comrade Oshiomhole led administration discovered that no kobo has been paid and all the terms of agreement have been dishonored.
In the circumstance, Ambrose Alli University practically became an orphan who had to depend on the generosity of first University of Benin Teaching Hospital, then University of Jos Teaching Hospital and finally the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital for the sustenance of its own medical course’’, the statement said.
However, the university wrote back and offered to pay a ridiculous N50, 000 per month for use of the facilities and highly skilled personnel/consultants at Benin Central Hospital and Stella Obasanjo Hospital.
Regrettably, concerted efforts made ever since by the State government to make the management of Igbinedion University to pay the debt that had accumulated over the years and also agree to an upward review of the annual charge have proved abortive.
According to the statement, the government was left with no other option than terminate the MOU in public interest