Presidency reacts to State House Clinic budget story, provides misleading details

The presidency on Tuesday dismissed a report detailing how President Muhammadu Buhari proposed N3.8 billion as capital spending for State House’s clinic, but failed to provide facts contradicting the story that showed the figure outweighed similar spending for 16 teaching hospitals.

The report, published by PREMIUM TIMES as an analysis of the 2016 national budget, showed that the State House Clinic would receive N787 million more in capital allocation than all the nation’s 16 teaching hospitals combined – that is if the National Assembly approves the proposal as submitted by the president.

The State House Clinic provides healthcare to President Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, their families and other employees of the Presidency – all possibly less than a thousand.

Federal teaching hospitals cater for the health needs of tens of millions of Nigerians, train medical doctors and other health professionals for the nation while also serving as top medical research centres.

While the presidential clinic received N3.87billion as proposed capital allocation, the country’s 16 federal government-owned teaching hospitals individually only got a fraction of that vote.

According to the proposed budget, N212, 539,245 is allocated for capital projects at the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital in Lagos, while the capital allocation for the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Kaduna, is N230, 904,795.

Capital allocation for the University College Hospital, Ibadan, is N230,904,795; University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu (N218,335,908); University of Benin Teaching Hospital (N212,886,502); Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital, Ile Ife (N162,622,221); University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (N166,802,164); University of Jos Teaching Hospital (N228,717,880); and University of Port Harcourt (N169,498,392).

The capital allocation for other hospitals are: University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (N201,082,446); University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (N215,151,873); Usman Dan Fodio University Teaching hospital, Sokoto (N279,000,000); Aminu Kano University Teaching Hospital (N210,380,376); Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi (N166,188,931); University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (N198,715,702); and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (N229,005,992).

Health experts criticised the apparently lopsided spending plan in response to the PREMIUM TIMES’s report Tuesday.

But the presidency described the story as “insensitive” and “off the mark”.

“This report is not simply off the mark but one that is insensitive to the government’s effort to improve medical facilities at home in Nigeria,” a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, read.

The statement admitted, as pointed out in our story, that the government budgeted N3.8 billion to be spent on the State House Clinic.

However, in what seemed a deliberate attempt at misleading readers, Mr. Shehu, without giving details, said the budget for health institutions in the country was N200 billion, a sweeping figure covering recurrent and capital costs for not just teaching hospitals stated in the PREMIUM TIMES’ report, but for all government-owned health institutions.

The statement said the total budget for teaching hospitals was more than 50 per cent of the N200 billion. Mr. Shehu asked Nigerians to seek out the details for themselves.

He also said that the State House Clinic serves not just the president and staff of the presidency, but government officials and others.

“The increased spending on government health institutions in the current budget should be seen in the light of the administration’s plan to improve medical facilities at home as a way of discouraging overseas trips in search of treatment by citizens which eat away from our foreign exchange,” he stated.


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  • linkhadj.

    Premium Times has always been known to be anti-Buhari and a supporter of the looters of our commonwealth.

    • Adele Uhuru

      Common quite being petty, current administration is busy looting, applying biased prejudices against our common wealth; they see the black gold from Niger delta as a means to cash out and repair the devastation their criminality have affected on the NE in their quest for the Apex office……………that’s the real story !

    • CapInHand

      PT was well accused of being anti-Jonathan, and pro-Buhari. Nothing new .. na naija way. Never say the truth!

    • super hero

      Really!?

  • Rollingdollar

    Baba Buhari is our King. His health and that of his wife and children is worth more than one million ordinary folks like us. So while Baba can use all the money to furnish a fancy little clinic for himself in Aso Rock, mere mortals like us can continue to die of preventable illnesses in our poorly funded teaching hospitals. Long live Baba our King who promised us change and even drank 10 naira satchet milk during the campaign. Thank you

    • Sir Charles

      Download

      Current affairs and Chemistry apps from the Samsung Galaxy app store

      OR

      MTN app store

  • The Trib3sman

    Change indeed!

  • Lere

    Bit by bit the masquerade is being unmasked. The masses seem to exist only to serve the rulers.This is happening while they are shouting, ‘ Change! Change!! Change!!! What a country!

  • True Nigerian

    Buhari, your support is ebbing away. Take note, please!

    • Sir Charles

      End Time!!!

      Google

      Rosary of the Unborn

  • ogbuefiakajiaku

    Buhari wants to steal too. God help Nigeria

    • Ayinde

      Listen to Fela, stealing with Trick, Army Arrangement

    • FormerNigerian

      They are a complete zoo.

  • gboromiro

    Shehu cannot expect to be taken seriously with this mediocre in explanation. I endorse that NASS should substantially cut down this unconscionable allocation to Aso Rock clinic. No justification at all

  • Omotolaaraujo

    Providing advanced medical care for government officials is no more important than funding hospitals for other Nigerians. Those bandits go to get state-of-the-art medical care while Nigerians die not being able to pay for basic medical care. Pour money into hospitals for the rest of Nigeria and let those apes in government spend their allocations wherever they choose.

    • super hero

      What shocks me is that in spite of the so called state-of-the-art equipment and budget, they still fly overseas for…..yes you guessed it. Medical treatment! smh.

  • favourtalk

    This newspaper needs to get things right well, they are always digging hole for the Buhari government. You will not win this time. Buhari WI still win over your propaganda

  • muazu wali

    We cannnot compare figures and conclude that this is more provided than the other. We need to know the state of the clinic and areas provided for is it equipment or what

  • Leggzzyy

    I was an nysc medical doctor at the clinic in 2010. It doesn’t only serve the president and its family. It serves the whole state house staff and their dependants from the perm sec to the cleaners. Former presidents and vice presidents, sitting ministers, other perm secs, directors, senators, ambassadors etc. Top govt functionaries and their dependents use the clinic. Also the soldiers, police, SSS, that guard the villa also use the clinic. The presidency may be upgrading the clinic to better serve these functions of meeting the health needs of govt officials in order to stem the tide of medical tourism by govt officials. If this is the case, then it is a welcome development as it will save the country lots of money.

    • Ayinde

      So what population is that compared to the Teaching Hospitals and for your information, they have been discriminating against these so called senior civil servants and limit attendance to ONLY state house Staff.

      • I did It 4 Love.

        @Ayinde you are a mind reader, exactly what I wanted to ask Mr NYSC medical doctor.
        We have big issues in Nigeria and he said he’s a doctor.
        That NYSC doctor is among those chopping our yams behind closed doors.

        • super hero

          Mr NYSC medical doctor does not understand that it is this sort of financial recklessness that has resulted in him working as a hotel manager with his medical qualifications.
          If UBTH in Benin got a fraction of what has been allocated to this ‘clinic’ over the years, the high point and the end of his medical career would not have been his stint at State House Clinic.

    • Peter_Edo

      God bless you… copying your rp

    • super hero

      ‘Dr Peter Ebalunode’ does that include comrade governor and officials from Edo and other states of the federation? Or is it only ‘top govt functionaries’ from the Presidency who embark on medical tourism. I suggest that if the money was applied judiciously and equitably you in particular would not be working in a hotel but as a much needed medical practitioner not far from you at University of Benin Teaching Hospital

    • super hero

      oga doctor, I also know that clinic very well. You and I know that it is only a consulting clinic for the so called top officials who still jet off abroad for medical attention. So we are hit twice…..we pay for expensive dispensary in ask rock and then pay for official medical tourism in Germany.

  • stanejike

    But just out of curiosity o: Why are the teaching hospitals in the north getting almost double allocation as the ones in the SS & SE?
    Is that still part of the CHANGE?

    • muazu wali

      That is what these universities asked for. All submissions went through individual university councils, the NUC and the Ministry of Education before coming to the house.

  • Ayinde

    On Chance, No Vision No Direction and Clueless Elements. The whole world would soon realise that GEJ despite attempt to paint him as a devil is a far better Saint compared to this WOLVEs in Sheep clothing

    • muazu wali

      You are entitled to your opinions. Had Jonathan been such a saint he would still have been our President. He lost the elections and with what we now know of financial mismanagement under him Nigerians aclaim that this man is a misfit.

      • Fuzio

        4 years is not a long time. Very soon your messiah will give account of his own stewardship. Blaming the previous administration for looting ‘$2 trillion’ that Nigeria never earned since independence would not be enough.

  • fishhook

    There is nothing wrong with a budget if it has been itemized and justified. What breakdowns do we have for these budgets? Does the spending follow the allocation or the spending is carefully planned before the money is allocated? Why we have had corruption is that excess money floats around that was never tied to a budget item. The fraud starts from the budgeting processes before entering the expenditure processes.

  • fishhook

    President Buhari constituted a belated cabinet that hardly settled down before budgets were prepared. This budget pattern is typical of the Obasanjo Jonathan style of appropriation without costing. The change should start from how budgets are prepared.

    Budgets should take inputs from the end users before collating costs and then making the total estimates if planned expenditures. But in Nigeria figures are simply pasted without prior input of end-users resulting in misappropriation, under-funding, excess-funding and embezzlement.

  • Excisionist

    ” WOLVEs in Sheep clothing” thank you very much Ayinde. That’s exactly what Buhari and his Fulani jingoists are