By Muhammad Auwal Adam
The National Lottery Trust Fund (NLTF), was established in May 2005 to facilitate national development goals through the promotion of access to lottery proceeds for intervention across Nigeria’s developmental sectors.
Since the establishment of the agency, it has recorded a lot of achievements in many areas of national development, including;; education, sports, environment, infrastructure, portable water supply, and most significantly, healthcare service delivery.
When he became the substantive Executive Secretary of the agency in 2019, Dr Bello Maigari, has continued to strengthen the intervention capacity of the agency to complement the untiring efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’ s administration in National Healthcare development.
In line with the Federal Government’s agenda of promoting effective and standard Healthcare services in the country and considering the importance of healthcare to national economic development ,the agency upgraded and gave many healthcare facilities in six geopolitical zones a face lift.
History will not forget the vital role the fund played in saving and protecting millions of Nigerians’ lives during the outbreak of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
NLTF’s quick intervention by the provision of advanced medical equipment, including Emergency Personal Protection Equipments (EPPE) to many hospitals and Isolation centres across the country, is worthy of note.
This quick response by the Fund, drew commendations from governments at all levels, the private sector, including Non Governmental Organisations.
Bello, no doubt, is one of the few most highly respected and intellectual personalities saddled with the responsibility of overseeing critical government agencies, such as the NLTF.
As an astute administrator, he has demonstrated uncommon leadership qualities through interventions in Nigeria’s critical development areas, such as the health sector.
From 2019 to date, the Fund has among other healthcare intervention programmes provided;
-Modern electric delivery beds at the General Hospital ,Gombe, in Gombe State.
– Ultra Sound Machine with monitor to the General Hospital, Daura, ,lKatsina State.
-Double hydraulic delivery beds to the Primary Health Centre, Onikan, Lagos State.
– Laboratory Autoclave machines to many health Institutions across the country.
– Commissioning and handing over of World class medical equipment to Primary Healthcare clinic, New Karu, in Nasarawa State.
– Supply of vital medical equipment to General Hospital, Moniya Akinyele, in Oyo State, Kugba Maternity and General Hospital, Agbowu, Abeokuta South in Ogun State, and the Nneto Maternity home, Abia State.
– Provision of vital medical equipment to the General Hospital Umunze, Orumba South ,Anambra State, Eja Memorial/Joint Hospital, Itigidi, Abi, Cross River State, and Joint Hospital Amaigbo Nwangele, Imo State, as well as Ibakwa – Nike Health Centre, Enugu East, Enugu State.
– Provision of top notch medical equipment to Eketube- Enyigba Primary Healthcare, Abakaliki in Ebonyi State, general hospitals in Bali and Garaku in Taraba and Nasarawa states respectively.
– Kwoi and Kagarko Comprehensive healthcare centres in Kaduna are among the beneficiaries of the vital medical equipment intervention.
– The General Hospital in Hong, Adamawa State, which recently upgraded to a federal medical centre, and the Federal Medical Centre, Yola, now upgraded to Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital, are among the beneficiaries of world class medical equipment.
Speaking at the commissioning of medical equipment in Gbaja Randle Hospital, Mother and Child Care, General Hospital Gbaja Street, Surulere in Lagos State, Bello noted that the Fund was saddled with the mandate to promote social inclusion and health wellbeing of Nigerians.
He said the agency had, over the years, enhanced capacity delivery of many health facilities across the country to cater for the health needs of patients, pregnant women, children and the vulnerable.
”Nevertheless, the agency has significantly recorded imperative interventions in various aspects of nation building.
”As I speak to you, Nigeria’s gaming market is the fastest growing in Africa, with the sales revenue approximately Two Trillion Naira annually, this indicates that lottery is a wealth generator,” the NLTF boss said.
He reaffirmed that the agency would never relent, and would continue to work constructively with the National Assembly to put forward legislations that would support the process of revitalising the lottery industry in Nigeria and take it to an enviable height.
According to him, Nigeria’s gaming market, if properly utilised, would generate huge revenue for national development and create more job opportunities that would help actualise President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.