As Nigerians continue to react to reports on the lack of medication and functioning equipment at the State House Medical Centre, the presidency has been forced to react once again considering the huge amounts budgeted for the facility yearly.
What was budgeted: The following sums were budgeted for the State House Clinic in 2015, 2016 and 2017: N3.94 billion, N3.87 billion and N3.2 billion respectively. That makes a total of N11.01 billion.
How much was received: The figures being mentioned by the Permanent Secretary, State House, Jalal A. Arabi, are different. According to him:
- In 2017, there was zero capital allocation for the Medical Centre.
- In 2017, out of the recurrent budget of N331.73 million, the actual amount released up to September was N91.37 million (representing only 27.54%).
- For the entire period under reference (2015 – 2017), out of the total Capital Appropriation of N2.94 billion and Recurrent Appropriation of N465.94 million, only the sum of N969.68 million (representing 32.97%) for Capital and N225.58 million (representing 48.41%) for Recurrent was actually released.
Yet, he said, the Medical Centre continues to provide free services to the over 10,000 registered patients annually. In addition, the Centre has continued to execute on-going projects.
He said the clinic caters for political appointees, the military, para-military, other security agencies, members of the National Assembly, and the general public.
“Considering the unrestricted patronage base and free services of the State House Medical Centre, coupled with the funding hiccups and periodic receipts, it may not be far-fetched to notice gaps between demand and supply of medical equipment and consumables at certain stages of the budget circle,” he said.