Gov. Makinde Signs MOU With UNICEF, Unveils Nigeria’s Premier Solar-Powered Oxygen Plant

On Wednesday, Eng. Seyi Makinde, Governor of Oyo State, signed a pact with UNICEF and commissioned the premier solarised Medical Oxygen Pressure Swing Adsorption Plant with a level 2 Newborn Unit at the Jericho Specialist Hospital, Ibadan.

The PSA medical oxygen plant is supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, IHS Towers, the Governments of Norway and Canada as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Unveiling the plant, Makinde who applauded UNICEF, IHS, and the federal ministry of health, said the Oyo state used COVID-19 as a fulcrum to develop the facility.

He said, “Although no one is praying for another outbreak of COVID-19, it is always better to prepare and there is no better way to be prepared than to have a facility like this.”

Speaking on the roadmap, he said, “We may not be remembered for building roads, but we will be remembered for building strong institutions that will ensure that Oyo state runs predictably for so many years after our tenure

Handing over the project, UNICEF Representative Ms. Cristian Munduate lauded Oyo State for recording a triple milestone towards improved maternal and newborn health care in Nigeria.

Munduate said that these include the handover of the solarized medical oxygen plant, the Level 2 Newborn Unit, and the launch of the Oyo State Strategy for the Scale-Up of Medical Oxygen in Health Facilities.

She restated that the three historic events represent a remarkable step forward in their commitment to improving maternal and child health in Oyo State and across Nigeria.

According to Munduate, installing the solarized medical oxygen plant is groundbreaking as oxygen is a critical life-saving intervention, particularly for newborns and children suffering from pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses.

She said, “By harnessing solar power, we ensure reliable and sustainable oxygen supply, even in times of limited electricity. This plant is a beacon of innovation and resilience, promising to save countless lives and provide a model for similar initiatives nationwide.


“Additionally, the Level 2 Newborn Unit established here at Jericho Specialist Hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and staffed by trained healthcare professionals dedicated to providing specialized care for premature and critically ill newborns.

“This unit will significantly reduce neonatal mortality rates and improve health outcomes for our youngest and most vulnerable population.”

On the launch of Oyo State Strategy for the Scale-Up of Medical Oxygen in Health Facilities, she said the strategy is a comprehensive roadmap designed to ensure that every health facility in the state is equipped with the necessary resources to provide medical oxygen.


“It outlines the steps for capacity building, infrastructure development, supply chain management, and sustainable financing mechanisms.  These facilities including the strategy are critical in improving health outcomes. They align with UNICEF’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 3, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages.”

She said the significance of the developments cannot be overstated as according to recent data, Nigeria has one of the highest rates of neonatal mortality globally.

Munduate noted that Investments in healthcare infrastructure and strategic planning, like the facilities being commissioned were crucial in reversing the trend.

Extending her heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Oyo State, IHS Nigeria, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Governments of Canada and Norway for this partnership, she said: “This is a testament to what we can achieve when we work together towards a common goal – ensuring the health and well-being of every child and mother in this state.

In her welcome address, Oyo State Commissioner for Health, Dr Oluwaserimi Ajetunmobi said the unveiling of the solarized Medical Oxygen Pressure Swing Adsorption Plant in Nigeria, with level 2 Newborn Unit and the Oyo State Strategy for the scale-up of Medical Oxygen in Health Facilities (2024-2028).


 Ajetunmobi said the commissioning is a testament to the power of collaboration, dedication, and the impact of collective efforts in addressing critical gaps in healthcare infrastructure.

She explained that medical oxygen is a lifesaving essential medicine used to treat patients at all healthcare system levels, from intensive care to newborn and child health care, anesthetic, and surgical services to outpatient services.

Also, in his goodwill message, the IHS Nigeria Director of Data Governance Management, Ayobami Adisa noted the critical importance of raising access to healthcare infrastructure. Adisa said that the COVID-19 pandemic underscored the urgent need for reliable medical oxygen supply, a lifeline for countless patients battling respiratory ailments.  These include pneumonia, hypoxemia disorders in newborn babies and pregnant women, as well as support for emergency cases such as during surgeries and in obstetric care and anesthesia.