- President Muhammadu Buhari wants a reversal of the State House Medical Centre (SHMC) to a clinic
- Permanent Secretary Jalal Arabi says the action is 'cutting one’s coat according to your cloth'
- The clinic, he says, was initially meant to serve the first family and those working within and around the Villa
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, April 1, directed that the State House Medical Centre (SHMC) be reverted to a clinic to serve the original purpose of its establishment.
The deputy director (information), State House media unit, Attah Esa, made this known in a statement saying the permanent secretary, Jalal Arabi, announced this in Abuja.
The statement reported by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said Arabi had appeared before the Senate committee on federal character and inter-governmental affairs for the 2019 budget defence when he said this.
“Without prejudice to what is currently obtainable at SHMC, the intention to revert to a clinic is a presidential directive.
“This is to make sure that the facility is functional and serves the purpose for which it was established, ab initio," he said.
The report said Arabi also explained to journalists after the budget defence that the reversion of the centre to a clinic was a case of “cutting one’s coat according to your cloth.
“It was initially meant to serve the first and second families and those working within and around the Villa.
“The overstretching of facilities at the medical centre by patients is some of the challenges the centre has been going through. It wasn’t meant for that purpose.
“Nobody was charging anyone for any services and relying on appropriation means we will depend on subvention when it comes to run the centre.
“Whatever comes is what you utilise and if the last patient comes in to take the last drugs based on the last budgetary release, that is it and we have to wait till another release is done.
“But this new development means that services will be streamlined to a clinic that will serve those that it was meant to serve when it was conceived.’’
Arabi disclosed that the centre had a total budget of N1.03 billion in the 2018 appropriation, with N698 million as capital expenditure and N331.7 million as overhead cost.
The permanent secretary said further that the total overhead expenditure released for the centre from January-December 2018, is N331.7 million, representing 99.9% while the capital releases on projects is N231.9 million, representing 33.2%.
The chairman of the committee, Senator Danjuma La’ah (PDP-Kaduna South), welcomed the proposal to make the SHMC fully functional and ensure that members of the first and second families used the facilities at the clinic.
The committee chairman promised that committee will support full funding for the clinic and commended the 2018 budget performance in State House, compared to previous years, despite revenue challenges.
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“Considering the strategic importance of State House they are not supposed to lack funds and we will keep encouraging them to utilise releases effectively,” he said.
The report said the State House 2019 budget proposal of N14.3 billion is slightly lower than the 2018 appropriation of 15.47 billion by 7.1%.
Legit.ng earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari assured Nigerians that he will do everything within his power to ensure the best for the country and her citizens when he begins his second term in office on May 29, 2019.
The disclosure was made on Monday, April 1, by the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina Adesina said President Buhari received board of trustees and advisory council of Gidauniyar Jihar Katsina (Katsina state Development Fund) led by Justice Mamman Nasir at the State House.
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