House Of Reps Probes Utilization Of Aso Rock Clinic Budgets
The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the “deplorable condition” of the State House Clinic in Abuja and its inability to deliver basic medical services.
The investigation will cover how the facility utilised the N10.98bn budgeted for its operations since 2015.
The House acted on a motion moved by a member, Mr. Henry Archibong, at its plenary session in Abuja on Thursday.
The Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, presided over the session.
The clinic received budgetary allocations in excess of N3bn in each of the years, 2015; 2016; and 2017.
The funds were voted for “upgrading and provision of necessary drugs and equipment.”
Lawmakers observed that in spite of the allocations, the clinic could not render basic services.
It took the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha, to the facility for Nigerians to become aware of the deplorable state of the clinic.
In addition to this finding, the House also said the management of the clinic was making deductions from the salaries and allowances of its workers without explanation.
The motion, which secured the majority voice vote of members, read partly, “The House notes that the State House Clinic was established to take care of the health needs of the President, the Vice-President, their family members as well as members of staff of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“Also notes that the clinic has, over the years, been receiving annual budgetary allocations to procure equipment that will enable it function optimally.
“Further notes that in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Appropriation Acts, the clinic was allocated the sums of N3.94bn, N3.87bn and N3.2bn respectively, for upgrading and provision of necessary drugs and equipment.
“Observes that in spite of those huge budgetary allocations, the clinic lacks necessary facilities such as syringes, drugs and equipment needed for saving lives.”
It added, “Informed that medical doctors working at the clinic have expressed concern over alleged illegal deductions from their salaries and allowances by the management since April 2017, without any official communication for the action.
“Aware that the wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, complained publicly during a stakeholders’ meeting on Reproductive, Maternal, Nutrition, Child Advocacy and Health and Nutrition at the State House of her inability to access health-care needs at the clinic when she took ill recently, but was rather advised by the health providers to fly out of the country for treatment.
“Acknowledges that her refusal to heed the advice of the health providers and insisting on obtaining medical care in Nigeria saved the country millions of dollars in foreign exchange and was also an act of patriotism and selflessness worthy of commendation.”
The House Committee on Health care Service was directed to conduct the investigation within three months and report back to the plenary.
The committee is chaired by a member of the All Progressives Congress from Imo State, Mr. Chike Okafor.