Buhari was adequately briefed on poor condition of State House Clinic – CMD

State House clinic
State House clinic [Photo credit: nigeriamedinterns.com]

Over a year before the wife of the president, Aisha Buhari, publicly criticised the management of the State House Medical Centre, SMHC, for not having basic facilities, the head of the hospital had written her husband, President Muhammadu Buhari, complaining  about the poor funding of the hospital, a correspondence seen by PREMIUM TIMES show.

In a letter written to Mr. Buhari’s chief of staff, Abba Kyari, on October 3, the chief medical director, Hussain Munir, made reference to the letter he wrote Mr. Buhari on August 22, 2016 as well as two other ones he wrote to other officials in 2015 and 2016 including Mr. Kyari.

According to the October 3 letter, all those correspondence centred on the inadequate funding of the hospital including non-provision of funds for basic necessities such as drugs.

Mr. Munir indicated that out of N290.4 million approved for the purchase of drugs and consumables for the SHMC in 2017, only N29 million has been spent with no amount spent on capital projects.

Mr. Munir, who was responding to a recent report by Daily Trust Newspaper on how state house clinic patients groan over drug scarcity, said the hospital has been facing challenges of drugs availability since 2016.

The director also said out of the N3.8 billion approved for the clinic in 2016, only N25 million was spent on drugs that year, a lesser amount compared to the N73 million and N63 million expended on same item in 2015 and 2014 respectively.
It is not clear if the amounts spent on drugs, referenced by Mr. Munir, is the total released for that purpose by the administrations in those years.

However, the presidency on Sunday admitted the hospital was underfunded saying it received N1.2 billion (N1, 195,257, 021) between 2015 and 2017, as expenditure.

The Permanent Secretary, State House, Jalal A. Arabi who also confirmed there was zero capital allocation for the hospital in 2017 said, “while out of the N331 million being recurrent appropriation for 2017, the actual amount released up to September was N91million (representing only 27.54 per cent).”

Mr. Arabi emphasised that the figures are verifiable from the Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

In her October 9 public complaint, Mrs. Buhari criticised the poor state of the clinic and asked that it should be probed.

She lamented that she wanted to do an x-ray at the clinic a few weeks ago but was told the machine was not functional.

In his October 3 letter, however, Mr. Munir said the X-ray machine has not been functioning for over nine months.

PRESIDENCY NOTIFIED MUCH EARLIER

In the October 3 letter, Mr. Munir said the attention of the state house had been drawn to the challenges of the clinic on numerous occasions without any response.

The SHMC director said he wrote complaint letters on several occasions, to outline the condition of the hospital.

He said letters were written on November 13, 2015 to Mr. Kyari; on April 18, 2016, to Mr. Arabi and on August 22, 2016 to President Muhammadu Buhari all to no avail.

To resolve the funding challenge, the presidency has indicated it would commercialise the operations of the clinic.

Mr. Arabi, the state house permanent secretary who supervises the management of the SHMC, while reacting to the issue last Wednesday said the management will “among other things seek the commercialisation of the centre to boost its revenue and augment the appropriation it receives from the government in the quest for a better qualitative service.”

The SHMC offers largely free medical services to patients in the presidential villa including top civil servants and members of security agencies.

Drugs and consumables are purchased on a quarterly basis at the clinic. However, no drugs and consumables were purchased in the first and second quarters of 2017, according to Mr. Munir’s letter.

“This is why ‘STOP GAP procurement method’ (emergency purchase) was used to purchase N14,786,736 of drugs and N15,000,00 of consumables,” he explained.

The SHMC boss said the third quarter request for drugs and consumables were submitted in August, but ”no response was received as of the time of the letter was filed on 3/10/2017.”

Efforts made by this paper to contact the state house were unsuccessful.

A mail seeking clarification sent to Deputy Director, Information in the State House, Attah Eseh, on Wednesday morning was not responded to as at the time of filing report.

Calls and texts made and sent to both presidential media aides, Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina, were also not responded to.

Meanwhile, Mr. Arabi has said ”no matter how much was spent on the supply of drugs at the clinic, they finish and there would be a problem if there is no allocation.”

Following the nationwide complaints on the status of the hospital, the House of Representatives has asked an ad-hoc committee to investigate the condition there as well as alleged irregular deductions from the salaries and allowances of the staff.


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  • Watch man

    The clinic is like that because going there by the gang in govt will not enhance their stealing business of presenting fake receipts for refund of money that was never spent. Besides the man in Aso Rock is not interested in Nigerian hospitals as his first point of medical call is England. So, when he changes and musters the will to do the right thing it will trickle down. This shows that Nigeria has not gotten the right leadership.

    • AryLoyds

      Why should buhari need state clinic ? England is there to provide good health care . Funny enough he still asks poor people in his own country who cant afford medical treatment in nigeria to pray for him when abroad. Animal kingdom

  • Justice and Fairness

    I just pray someone can give us an idea of how much id being released for drugs for Ikeja General Hospital (or is it Teaching Hospital) serving millions of people compared to what is being spent or stolen in this small clinic where services are entirely FREE to this privileged class of people. Please save us the pains of realising how much the general populace are being neglected by ending this expose on the state house clinic, Premium times

  • Henry M

    When will those in authority understand that it is unrealistic and near impossible for the Federal government to do everything? Simple restructuring will sort out myopic issues such as this. I can’t believe that in the 21st century a country with over 200million people is still in charge of syringe in one hospital, when there’s a myriad of more critical issues left unsolved… Govt should hands off hospitals, roads, power, airports, schools, and other critical infrastructure to the private sector to manage..

    • bobisa

      My brother, with or without restructure, until people have a change of heart towards good management , maintenance culture and the rest, else the struggle continue. What I can’t explain is what Abba Kyari has over buhari?

  • ’70

    Abba Kyari AGAIN!!! I tell you that man is evil, i am sure if you check his drawer you will find all the letters to the president neatly stashed there… Only God knows how many more important letters one would find there

    • share Idea

      Are you suggesting that Buhari does not read newspaper to see damage his administration is doing? If he does, what has he done to all the mis-deed ascribed to Kyari that negatively affects his government – nothing, which suggest that Buhari is in cahoot with Kyari. Nigeria we hail thee

      • ’70

        Something is wrong with PMB for sure… look at the Babachir saga, as we speak, not a word or action from PMB… Something for sure is amiss

  • www.electionoffenders.ng

    Mikanti Baru- The President knows about it
    CMD Aso Rock Clinic- The President knows about it.

    When your President becomes your alibi to explain reason for a wrong doing.

    Mr. President is not doing enough to send a clear message about corruption and due process.

  • Mrs Ojo

    PMB needs to sit up and be more responsive to the people(especially the few ones around him) and their request to enhance good governance in the country. It’s terrible that the president knows the state of the Also clinic for over a year but still waited till it became a scandal championed by his wife of many years.

    Having said that,I will need the wife of the president to be more circumspect and careful in the kind of alarm she raises in this government. She’s not an experienced politician to know when the issue is purely politics or governance. Before she opens her mouth on the issue of governance or politics in Nigeria,she should always seek audience with her husband to know his stand. Also,she should do self appraisal and ask what damage or good her rhetoric will do to her ,her husband or the government he leads.

    • Sab

      Lets call a spade by its proper name. If it were another administration in power would you have written this way? Would you not have asked where the billions of Naira budgetted for the clinic which is much more than all other teaching hospitals in the country put together? Would you not have said this is fraud? Would Lai Mohammed not have issued a statement even tripling the amount and pointed imaginary finger where the funds had been diverted to? Its good what has been playing out in this government and the cover ups. No probe on Baru/Kachikwu NNPC N25bn contract scam, no probe on the alleged IGP N120bn scandal, instead the whistle blower has been dragged to court for alleged ‘false alarm’ when neither ICPC, EFCC, DSS nor the Police ever investigated the allegation. Yet the VP panel report on The Grasscutter and NIA boss may have been thrown into the antlantic ocean. Don’t forget we are fighting corruption.

    • realist

      Your sorts are the problems of this country. Condemning a sincere woman for saying the truth and being honest and sincere? So you prefer a cover up in the name of politics thus compounding the existing problems. Ah! Your opinion is far far away from what is in the minds of honest people who want good for the people.

    • www.electionoffenders.ng

      Mrs. Ojo, you are saying that Mrs. Aisha Buhari should be loyal to her husbands and the APC’s interest and quieten down her patriotic streak??.

      That’s a rather unfortunate comment. Our loyalty (me and you) should be to our country and this very same land in which our children and grand children will live when we are long dead and gone.

      Maybe Aisha Buhari is the voice of good reason and conscience that our President needs around him to guide him and set him straight when hes going astray.

      Right now, hes largely straying off course. Is the Burahi of today the same you thought he would be in 2015 when he won the election?

      Lets keep the love for our country alive. We will get there.

    • Daniel

      Are you more concerned about Buhari ‘s reputation, or the problem with Nigeria?

      So you are openly supporting this corrupt and incompetent regime?

      What a pity.

  • forestgee

    This government is sick beyond comprehension! Too many man made confusion and challenges. Now people are talking of more the same come 2019!

  • realist

    Somebody would still say Buhari is not a failure. How do you measure failure than the inactions of the man in charge. Because he has the means( the stand bye plane and the financial resources) to treat mere headache in London, how would he bother about the clinic in his backyard and the health of 170 million Nigerians

  • Daniel

    This government must not go beyond 2019.

    Enough damage!

    • tundemash

      I hope you are preparing a replacement already not just making noise here.

      • Daniel

        Wait and see since your life is getting better.

  • Bassey Frank

    The President has something more important than the Aso Rock Clinic. He is more occupied with NNPC appointments and businesses.

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  • Someone

    looks like people around buhari will kill him. so they wait for 2 years

  • Gary

    People, do you see a pattern here with the Buhari regime? Anytime something goes awry or an official is accused of corruption or dereliction of duty, they immediately say the President was notified and was aware of the situation or circumstances.
    Then it turns out that the communication was made through Mallam ABBA Kyari, Man Friday extraordinare, who in all likelihood never drew the attention of the ailing Buhari to the issue.
    It is not hard to figure out that Mr. Abba Kyari has been the biggest stumbling block to the efficiency of this hapless government and by his actions and omissions, made himself the de facto a President of Nigeria with his control of what Buhari gets to know, when and how.
    But just like with Babachir Lawal, Buhari continues to put personal loyalty above the national interest and even his to run an effective government. He failed from the minute he assembled this band of incompetent fellow sectarian bigots as his Kitchen Cabinet.