The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly says it is not aware that the state-owned Ibom Specialist Hospital has been shut down.
PREMIUM TIMES newspaper broke the news on Thursday about the closure of the multi-million dollars hospital which was built and inaugurated just two years ago by the then administration of Governor Godswill Akpabio.
It is more than two weeks now since Cardiocare Medical Services Ltd, the private managers of the hospital, terminated their contract with the Akwa Ibom State government and pulled out from the facility in Uyo, the state capital, because of disagreement over funding.
“We are not aware that the place has been shut down,” the Deputy Leader of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Ime Okon, told PREMIUM TIMES, Friday. “It has not been reported to the House.”
Mr. Okon is also the Chairman, House Committee on Information.
“Now that I have gotten the information, we will take steps to investigate,” the lawmaker said when this newspaper informed him about its report on the hospital closure.
Mr. Okon said the hospital should be under the state Ministry of Health, but that he was aware that the state government handed over its management to a private company.
“We will make findings to know what is happening,” he said.
The Commissioner for Health in the state, Dominic Ukpong, confirmed the hospital closure to PREMIUM TIMES. He accused the private managers, Cardiocare Ltd, of poor management of the hospital resources.
“Their excuses have been that government didn’t meet its own part of the obligation. But I am a witness to the huge amount of money the government has given to the service provider to run the hospital. And we haven’t had much to show for it,” the health commissioner said.
The commissioner said the state government was negotiating for new investors for the Ibom Specialist Hospital, but that it was difficult to say when it would re-open for business.