Grounded N5.6bn cardio-renal centre: Lagos assembly sets up probe panel

Former Lagos state governor, Babatunde Fashola
Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola. [PHOTO CREDIT: Energy Mix Report]

At its plenary on Monday, the Lagos State House of Assembly asked its standing committee on health to probe into the immediate and remote causes of the challenges facing the state’s renal facility.

The move is coming two days after PREMIUM TIMES’ publication on the moribund multi-billion naira cardiac and renal centre established by the state

The probe, a response to the publication, was brought to the attention of the house by its acting chairman of the committee on health, Akeem Sokunle.

According to Mr Sokunle, the findings of his committee’s recent tour of the state’s health facilities had also corroborated the sordid state of the cardiac and renal centre, which is located within the compound of the general hospital, Gbagada.

He said; “We observed that there is a shortage of manpower, non-functioning ambulances, insecurity, unequipped laboratories, and more importantly, abandonment of multi-billion naira cardio-renal facility.”

According to him, most of the equipment in the hospital are not working and he got a report that the catheterisation machines only worked for two weeks before the facility packed up. “Also, most of the sensitive equipment are obsolete.”

In his contribution, the House member representing Kosofe 2 constituency, Tunde Buraimoh, expressed displeasure over the matter.

Mr Buraimoh said: “It is disheartening that the investment of the state in the hospital has been abandoned. If these facilities are functioning, we would have saved many lives and reduced the constant medical tours to India.”

He appealed to the House to empower the committee to delve more into the crisis at the cardio-renal centre from the point of contract award, equipment supply and how and why they stopped functioning.

On his part, the majority leader of the House, Sanai Agunbiade, representing Ikorodu 1 constituency, noted that if equipment of such magnitude has been established in the ‘centre of excellence,” it was for a purpose and that such purpose must be fulfilled.

He therefore moved a motion that the suppliers of the equipment be invited by the committee for questioning and that the investigation must attract public participation.

The committee chairman, therefore, moved a motion that the house gives his committee the power to invite concerned officials of the health ministry to also appear before it to, clarify issues bothering on the N5.6 billion facility.

In his ruling, the speaker of the parliament, Mudashiru Obasa, directed that the clerk of the house, Azeez Sanni, write the ministry and other concerned stakeholders in the matter, to appear before the committee.

PREMIUM TIMES had on Saturday reported the collapse of the ‘super tertiary health facility’ in the state, which was inaugurated in March 2015 by former governor, Babatunde Fashola.

The multi-billion naira facility, which is presumed to be one of the signature legacies of the administration of Mr Fashola, was neglected by his successor, Akinwunmi Ambode.

But unlike the other important projects, the abandonment of the facility has led to the increasing statistics of Lagosians, and indeed Nigerians, who are battling various cardiac and renal diseases.

The facility’s concessionaire, Renescor Health LLP, pulled out of its management deal in 2016, over poor infrastructural works by the contractor and the bad state of the equipment.

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