I Almost Changed My Mind On Women When An Ex-petroleum Minister Excelled In Corruption – TY Danjuma

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A former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Theophilus Danjuma (retd.), on Tuesday, said he used to say that any job that is expected to be done properly should be given to a woman.

He said he had a change of mind when the nation had a female minister of petroleum who he claimed excelled in corruption.

Although he did not mention the name of the former minister, he said she set a record that was yet to be beaten by anybody.

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Danjuma spoke in Enugu while inaugurating the Goodwill Medical Centre built and equipped by his Foundation at Umuchigbo, Iji Nike, Enugu.

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The GMC project is the brainchild of Prof Uche Amazigo, Nigeria’s renowned pro-poor public health specialist, and one of the few female Africans to have led a specialised UN Agency, overseeing a highly successful multilateral partnership in global health.

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He said, “I used to say that if you want anything properly done and deliver on time without any excuses, give the job to a woman until we had a female minister of petroleum. That woman excelled in corruption. She set a record that is yet to be beaten by anybody.

“So, I was in the process of reviewing my statement when I met one lady, Prof. Uche Amazigo Uche and I have come a very long way. My first encounter with Uche was around mid-October 2010 when she, accompanied by Mrs. Franca Ilamiji, another Igbo woman.”

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Extolling the character of Prof Amazigo, the retired Army General, said she has made him believe again that women remain the most trusted people to prudently manage public funds.

“Uche and I have been colleagues for many years. After working for the TY Danjuma Foundation, I thought I had seen the end of Uche. I was mistaken.

“In early March 2022, Prof Uche, accompanied by two other female professors, presented to me a request to provide financial support for building and equipping a low-cost high-efficiency medical centre to provide excellent medical services by predominantly female medical doctors, nurses and midwives who chose to dedicate their time to humanity.

“I listened to her carefully and asked a few questions. I wanted to know if they have cash and the name of the organisation. And how she thinks an all-female-staff medical centre will function. She was ready for my questions.

“The result of all these questions is what you see here today.

“This magnificent edifice can only be built by women at the price they accounted to me.

“Men will take your money and and you won’t see any building or money.”

While saluting and congratulating Uche and her team for a job well done, Danjuma expressed hope that they would surpass the goals they set for themselves.

In his speech, the Enugu State Governor, Dr Peter Mbah, promised to protect the facility to the maximum benefit of the people of Enugu State.

Represented by his deputy, Ifeanyi Ossai, Mbah commended the elder statesman for epitomising leadership both in public service and private life.

He also lauded Amazigo for initiating the project which is primarily going to be of immense benefit to the people of Enugu State.

The CEO of Goodwill Medical Centre, Prof Amazigo, said the objective of establishing the hospital was to provide quality healthcare for all.

“This centre with the assistance of seven Consultant specialists and Professors, will provide low-cost treatment for indigent patients and charge others (the rich) the standard medical fees,” she said.

She disclosed that the centre had perfected plans for the enrollment of 1000 or more indigent people randomly selected from communities, into the National Health Insurance Authority/ Group, Individual, Family Social Health Insurance Programme.

“This will cost about N15 million at the rate of N15,000 per enrollee. This programme will provide comprehensive and robust health care services to the poor,” she said.

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