Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Wednesday, commissioned the first solarised Medical Oxygen Pressure Swing Adsorption Plant in Nigeria and the Level 2 Newborn Unit at the Jericho Specialist Hospital, Ibadan.
This was as he launched the Oyo State Strategy for the Scale-up of Medical Oxygen in Health Facilities (2024-2028), noting that his administration remains committed to providing essential healthcare infrastructure and supporting initiatives and ideas aimed at improving healthcare delivery in the state.
According to him, the launch of the strategy for scaling up medical oxygen in health facilities across the state fits perfectly with the agenda of his administration to not only build infrastructure but also to put in place institutions that will endure and help the state to run smoothly in years to come.
The governor, who appreciated UNICEF, Federal Ministry of Health and IHS, among other agencies partnering with the state in the health sector, said he had given the approval to recruit more doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to address the personnel shortage in the system.
He said: “Any project that will improve the health care system in Oyo State is important to us, because it fits into our administration’s plan to move the people of Oyo State from poverty into prosperity.
“As you may have known, healthcare has remained one of the pillars of our administration in the Roadmap to Accelerated Development, 2019 to 2023, and now the Oyo State Roadmap for Sustainable Development, 2023 -2027.
“Today is the fifth anniversary of this administration coming into being or the first anniversary of the second tenure and in the last five years, we have done our best to prioritise projects in the healthcare sector.
“A lot of projects are ongoing in the primary healthcare sector and, so far, we have rehabilitated and upgraded not less than 210 PHCs across the state.
“To accomplish this, we had to increase the budgetary allocation to our health sector to the average of about eight per cent in the past five years.
“In 2020, which was exactly one year of coming into office, we were faced with COVID-19. It was then that the facility out there was upgraded, equipped and we were using it to isolate very important people at that time. People came from Lagos to be housed in this facility and we did not lose anyone to COVID-19 in this facility. We survived it.
“People came and said we should spend our money to turn Lekan Salami Stadium into an isolation centre because it was the same thing they were doing all over the world. But we said no. We told them that if they wanted to help us, they should put their money into our facilities so that we would still be using those facilities after COVID-19. Now, we can see the evidence here.”
While appreciating donor agencies that supported the project, Makinde said, “Your partnership with Oyo State in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and NACA, IHS as well as others brought this project, which is being commissioned today.
“This project will accommodate the Newborn Unit, Laying-in Ward and Labour Room and it is highly commendable. You have even gone ahead to install a solar system to support the plant. Not only that, you provided the manpower needed to run this intervention. We say thank you.”

The governor noted that the provision of oxygen was a big issue in the heat of COVID-19, adding that Oyo State used the pandemic as a fulcrum for developing healthcare facilities.

In her goodwill message, the Country Representative, UNICEF Nigeria, Ms. Cristian Munduate, commended Governor Makinde’s efforts in the healthcare sector, charging other governors to emulate his approach in their different states.
She said: “We gather here not only to mark the handover of the solarised medical oxygen plant and the Level 2 Newborn Unit at Jericho Specialist Hospital to the Oyo State Government but also to launch the Oyo State Strategy for the Scale-Up of Medical Oxygen in Health Facilities.
“This triple milestone represents a remarkable step forward in our shared commitment to improving maternal and child health in Oyo State and across Nigeria.
“This is a testament to what we can achieve when we work together towards a common goal – ensuring the health and well-being of every child and mother in this state.”
Also speaking, the Assistant Director, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Olanrewaju Sulaimon, noted that the commissioning of the plant represented a beacon of hope, “which signifies shared commitment to providing quality healthcare services for all regardless of location or socioeconomic status.”
Earlier in her welcome address, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Oluwaserimi Ajetunmobi, said the solarised Medical Oxygen Pressure Swing Adsorption Plant in Nigeria is the first of its kind in the South-West and even in the whole of Nigeria.
She added that the launch of the Oyo State Strategy for the Scale-up of Medical Oxygen in Health Facilities (2024-2028) marked a significant achievement for the state and partners – who have contributed tỉrelessly to the success of the projects.
Dr Ajetunmobi noted that the laudable achievements stand as a testament to the power of collaboration, dedication, and the impact of collective efforts in addressing critical gaps in healthcare infrastructure.
The event was attended by top government functionaries including the Deputy Governor, Barrister Bayo Lawal; the Secretary to Oyo State Government, Professor Olanike Adeyemo; the Chief of Staff, Hon Segun Ogunwuyi; and the Head of Service, Mrs Olubunmi Oni.

Sulaimon Olanrewaju
Special Adviser (Media) to Oyo State Governor
May 29, 2024.