The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved the upgrade of the Federal Medical Center, Lokoja to a Federal Teaching Hospital for use by the Federal University Lokoja College of Health Sciences (FULCOHS).
The heartwarming news of the positive development for the University was disclosed by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi while addressing journalists in Lokoja at the FULCOHS Conference Room, Adankolo Campus today Tuesday, March 7, 2023.
During the joint Press Conference which was attended by the Chief Medical Director, FMC Lokoja, Dr. Olatunde Alabi and his top Management team, the elated Vice-Chancellor told distinguished members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm that the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has graciously approved the upgrade of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Kogi State to Federal Teaching Hospital, Lokoja, Kogi State vide letter referenced SGF6/T4/380.
Read the full text of his Press Briefing below:
THE TEXT OF PRESS BRIEFING BY PROFESSOR OLAYEMI AKINWUMI, VICE CHANCELLOR, FEDERAL UNIVERSITY LOKOJA ON THE UPGRADE OF FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTRE, LOKOJA TO FEDERAL TEACHING HOSPITAL, LOKOJA AT THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS, FEDERAL UNIVERSITY LOKOJA COLLEGE OF HEALTH SCIENCES ON TUESDAY MARCH 7TH, 2023 AT 12.00 PM
I welcome the Principal Officers, Management, Staff, Students of Federal University Lokoja. I warmly welcome the Medical Director and Management Members of the Federal Medical Centre, now Federal Teaching Hospital, Lokoja. I appreciate gentlemen of the press that have responded to our invitation to be here and Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.
Distinguished Gentlemen of the Press, recall that on February 15th, 2021 I assumed the mantle of leadership of this great University as the 3rd Vice-Chancellor. In my maiden address, I made it clear in my 10 points vision of improved funding, institutionalization of University Culture, Meeting the needs of Faculties, Departments and Units, Promoting Quality Applied Research, Ensuring Staff and Students Welfare, Addressing Labour Matters, Investment in Technology Solutions for Teaching, Learning and Research, Infrastructure Development and Improved Environmental Sanitation on Campus, Introduction of New Academic Programs and Establishment of Linkages with Local and Global Bodies.
Federal University Lokoja College of Health Sciences was established by the Statute of the College and approved at the 61st Special Senate of the University held on Thursday, 27th May, 2021, the Governing Council of the University considered and approved the appointment of a seasoned Professor of Orthopedic and Trauma Surgery, and Former President of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Professor Mike Ozovehe Ogirima, mni to pioneer the commencement of Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery (MB’BS) marking the first phase of the several programmes in Dentistry, Medical Laboratory Science, Nursing Sciences, Medical Imaging Sciences among others.
Consequent upon the above, the Governing Council ably led by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Distinguished Senator Chris Adighije, Ph.D, aggressively ensured that this noble objective of establishing Medicine and Surgery in this University is attained. The University Management and Senate were constantly guided and supported by the Governing Council especially in the set realizable action plan; to bridge the gap of the potential candidates not succeeding in gaining admission to read Medicine and Surgery in the existing Universities in the catchment areas. Distinguished Gentlemen of the Press, there are about 80,000 registered Medical Practitioners on the Register of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) as at May 2022. Out of this number, about 40,000 Medical Doctors are actively practicing in Nigeria. By World Health Organization (WHO) standards, one Doctor is to 100 patients, but in Nigeria, it is one Doctor to more than 4,000 Patients. This is grossly inadequate and unacceptable especially in a developing country like Nigeria. It is indeed most worrisome in the case of Kogi State. Research conducted in recent time shows that in the next 10 years, Kogi State Medical Centres and Hospitals will experience great inertia of Medical Doctors of Kogi State origin. About 98% of students of Kogi State origin that applied for Medicine and Surgery with outstanding performance in JAMB and Post UTME in universities within the catchment areas of Kogi State are vehemently denied admissions to read medicine and surgery in those universities. In most cases, some of them ended up reading single honours courses like Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and so on. It is on the premise of the above denials that Federal University Lokoja established its own College of Health Sciences to address the seeming problem.
The University was aware of the enormity of the cost implication of establishing Medicine and Surgery especially in terms of adequate and qualified professionals, availability of Teaching Hospital, Functional Laboratories, Hostels, Library and so on. This was the reason that the Management of the University approached the Management of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja (FMC) to seek collaboration and conversion of the Medical Centre to Teaching Hospital. The Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja (FMC) is to provide the training of Medical and Premedical students of the College and in addition, Laboratories and Clinics.
Consequent upon the above understanding between the University and Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja (FMC), a Bill for the conversion/upgrade of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja to a Teaching Hospital was sponsored by Distinguished Senator Smart Adeyemi, representing Kogi West Senatorial District at the 9th Senate. The Bill was passed into Law by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Tuesday, 21st June, 2022. On 10th February, 2023, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, approved the upgrade of the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Kogi State to Federal Teaching Hospital, Lokoja, Kogi State vide letter referenced SGF6/T4/380.
By this development, the University is expected to provide a conducive environment for the training of premedical Students in Medical and Allied Sciences before moving to the Teaching Hospital for Clinical Training. The University’s responsibility to the Hospital will include the construction of Hostels, Medical Laboratory Complex and Lecture Auditoriums within the Hospital.
Distinguished Members of the Press recall in my maiden speech, I emphasized the urgency in the establishment of Medicine and Surgery program in the university and that the Adankolo Campus of the University (where you are now) shall be dedicated to the College of Health Sciences. I want to reiterate that the Governing Council has approved the Adankolo Campus of the University as the College of Health Sciences. This campus has been renamed Federal University Lokoja College of Sciences (FULCOS). Recall also that the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) had earlier in 2021 and 2022 approved the commencement of Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery (MB’BS) following the resource verification visitation by the two regulatory bodies.
Let me also state that the MB’BS programme successfully admitted its first set of students for 2020/2021 Academic Session in 2022. The University will in the next one week release the admission list for the 2021/2022 academic session for the MB’BS programme.
The Provost of the College, Prof. Mike Ozovehe Ogirima, mni, is currently shopping for top Medical Scholars/ Academics that will occupy the vacant positions in the College. It is my believe that qualified Professors, Associate Professors and Senior Lecturers in the various fields of Medicine and Surgery within and outside Nigeria will take advantage and apply to fill the vacant positions. Already, Visiting and Sabbatical appointments have been granted to some Professors who are currently interfacing with the MB’BS students.
Let me assure you, Gentlemen of the Press, that it is our determination to ensure that our Medical College becomes one of the best in Nigeria. We are indeed poised to attract the best Medical Academics to the Federal University Lokoja College of Health Sciences. I am also aware of the competencies of the Consultants at the Teaching Hospital.
The Combination of these competencies and seasoned Medical Academics will no doubt, produce all round medical graduates that will fill the yawning gap that exists in the Health sector of not only Kogi State but Nigeria.
Principal Officers of Federal University Lokoja, Medical Director and Management Staff of Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja (FMC) now Federal Teaching Hospital, Lokoja (FTH), Gentlemen of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to thank Almighty God for making our dream to have a Teaching Hospital in Lokoja realized. I appreciate the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of State (Health), Hon. Ekumankama Joseph, President of the Senate, Distinguished Senator, Ahmed Lawal, Senator Smart Adeyemi, the Chancellor of Federal University Lokoja, and the Emir of Fika and Chairman, Yobe State Council of Chiefs, HRH Alhaji (Dr.) Muhammadu Abali Ibn Muhammadu Idrissa, Chairman and Pro-Chancellor Federal University Lokoja, Distinguished Senator Chris Adighije Ph.D, and all members of Council, Management, Senate, Staff and Students of Federal University Lokoja, The Medical Director and Staff of Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, now Federal Teaching Hospital, Lokoja, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed and The Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Dr. TAB Sanusi.
With commitment, trust and enthusiasm, I am confident that Federal University Lokoja College of Health Sciences and Federal Teaching Hospital Lokoja will produce classical and well rounded Medical Professionals that will stand the test of time.
Thank you for honouring our invitation and the rapt attention while we look forward to establishing prosperous relationship with you.
Professor Olayemi Akinwumi
Federal University Lokoja,
Kogi State - Nigeria
Click here to watch the video of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi addressing journalists about the positive development
See more pictures of the press briefing here