The Benue State Government has reinstated the agreement for a monthly stipend of N103,000 to support the medical students enrolled in the College of Health Sciences at Benue State University. Governor Hyacinth Alia announced this during the 9th Professional Induction and Admission Ceremony for the 2023 Graduating Doctors from the same institution in Makurdi.
Under this renewed agreement, the state government will provide a monthly allowance of ₦103,000 to medical students until they complete their studies. However, this support comes with the condition that these students must commit to serving the state for a minimum of two years after graduation before deciding whether to pursue other opportunities elsewhere.
This initiative was initially introduced during Gabriel Suswam’s administration but was discontinued during Samuel Ortom’s tenure, leading to a significant exodus of graduates seeking better prospects elsewhere.
Governor Alia expressed his commitment to improving the prospects for medical professionals from Benue State, stating, “Medical Doctors of Benue origin who left the state and the country in search of better opportunities should know that I, Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Alia, am here now and will make those opportunities available in Benue. They are welcome back.” He also pledged continuous support for the state-owned university to fulfill his administration’s policy objectives.
The governor praised the vision and dedication of the founding fathers and staff of the University’s Medical School for their persistence in building the institution from its inception to its current standing. He also commended the medical graduates for their exemplary performance in various parts of the world, citing that the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) has increased the admission quota for the MBBS program from 75 to 150 students due to the institution’s exceptional medical facilities and graduates.
Governor Alia emphasized his administration’s readiness to support the university in producing high-quality medical personnel to serve society effectively. He mentioned his previous contribution of 481 volumes of books to the university while serving as the Priest in charge of St. Thomas’ Catholic Church in Makurdi.
Furthermore, the governor called on all healthcare professionals of Benue origin to return home and contribute to the development of the state’s healthcare institutions. He highlighted the state government’s efforts to bolster the healthcare sector by providing a monthly allowance of N100,000 to all medical doctors on National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) assignments in the state.
Governor Alia also explained that his administration has taken measures to support the training of resident doctors by disbursing the 2023 medical residency allowance to deserving resident doctors at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital.
Lastly, he thanked Dr. TAB Sanusi, the Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, for his significant interest in the growth of BSU Medical College. He called on the entire BSU community, which he deemed a major stakeholder in the state’s rebuilding, to prioritize addressing the state’s socio-economic challenges.
The induction ceremony and Hippocratic Oath-taking event for the 41 new doctors have brought the total number of doctors produced by the University since 2015 to 357.