The outgoing Governor of Imo State Rochas Okorocha has said that each of the 27 General Hospitals built across the local government areas in Imo cost the state the sum of N1bn, implying that the state had already spent N27bn for the 27 Hospitals.

He stated this on Monday while handling over the said Hospitals to religious leaders and non governmental organisations in Government House Owerri on the basis of lease agreement of 25 years.

“By this PPP arrangement, you are expected to operate the hospitals to number of years contained in the agreement. Your performance will determine if it will be renewed or not.

“Government had spent N1bn in each of these Hospitals. We hope that through you the hospitals will render services to which it was built”.

Despite the lease to churches for a period of 25 years, a moratorium of 18 years and a monthly rentage of N100,000 through Public Private Partnership (PPP) were part of the agreement

The hospitals are: the Okigwe General Hospital concessioned to the Anglican Diocese of Owerri, Ehime Mbano General Hospital to the Diocese of Okigwe South, Isiala Mbano General Hospital, (Isi Mbano Diocese) Isu General Hospital concessioned for a period of 99 years to the Catholic Claretian.

Others include; Ohaji/Egbema General Hospital concessioned to the Chosen University for a period 99 years and 18 years moratorium in addition to the Orlu General Hospital to the Orlu United Medical for 25 years and the Obowo General Hospital to the family Health Foundation.

The Governor explained that his action becomes necessary to expand the system of governance by involving private participation in the running of government.

“We adopted the PPP system 5 years ago to accelerate the development of he health and education sectors and the state will do better with this. It is not a sell of government property but a lease for purpose of development”.

He said that the state government is shopping for organisations to partner with the running of the 6 newly established universities in the state which according to him is the best way to go, noting that such institutions as NIPOST, NITEL, Nigeria Air ways, NEPA, all went moribund due to lack of PPP.