At about 10pm last night (Friday), Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, showed up unannounced at two hospitals in Maiduguri only to find patients in darkness due to power failure that had lingered for a number of days.
Zulum was at Umaru Shehu Ultra Modern Hospital and Fatima Ali Sheriff Maternity Hospital, both around densely populated Bulumkutu communities in Maiduguri.
Both hospitals relied on generators because of lack of electricity supply from the national grid since Boko Haram destroyed electricity equipment along Maiduguri-Damaturu highway, in response to which frantic efforts were still being made by federal and state officials to restore connections to areas yet to have electricity, including parts of Bulumkutu axis.
Zulum, a professor of engineering, asked persons in charge of generators at both hospitals some technical questions, which led to his confirmation that the generators had no problems at all. They were fully functional, but lacked diesel to power them.
Wondering the quickest way to mobilize diesel, the governor directed that available diesel meant to power generators at the Government House, Maiduguri, where he lives, be immediately transferred by trucks to both hospitals, pending his meeting with officials of the state’s Ministry of Health the following day, to find sustainable solution.
Meanwhile, as part of measures to ensure sustainable electricity in both hospitals, Governor Zulum directed an upgrade of existing solar-powered installation at both Hospitals.