One of the most controversial provisions of the 2016 Budget was a N3.2 billion budgeted for the state house clinic. The amount has caused outrage angering a lot of Nigerians who believe the amount can be better spent on hospitals around the country.
However, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Alhaji Jalal Arabi, on Tuesday came out to defend the amount claiming it was justifiable. Here is what he said as reported by the Nation.
“The budget for the State House Medical Centre included N3.219billion proposed for the completion of on-going work as well as procurement of drugs and other medical equipment.
“The Medical Centre provides health care treatment for the President and Vice-President, their families as well as numerous civil servants working in the State House and across the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government and of course, with due respect, including Parliamentarians and members of the legislature in addition to other notable dignitaries.
“Interestingly, Mr Chairman, on a lighter note, not only those that have been captured here attend (the Medical Centre) there are poor of poorest that attend because we receive reference from Gwagwalada, Garki, Wuse hospitals. “So, if they come, we attend to them and interestingly too at no fee at all, we don’t charge
“The anticipated improvement of the Medical Centre will propel it to serve as a Centre of Excellence and also reduce medical tourism.
“May I also add that the State House Medical Centre, unlike other Medical Centres does not charge any fees for its services and hence does not generate any revenue for itself,’’ he said.
The President is currently on vacation in the UK where he is expected to meet with his doctors. The Aso Rock Clinic is obviously not good enough.