Permanent Secretary, State House, Abuja, Jalal Arabi has denied the allegation that its staff are redundant and inefficient. This is in response to a claim made by Aisha Buhari, wife to President Muhammadu Buhari,
The permanent secretary in a statement revealed that the Medical Centre received zero allocation for capital project in 2017, while only 33 percent of the entire budgetary allocation to the clinic was released since 2015.
Arabi stated that out of the total capital appropriation of N2,941,062,044 billion only N969,681,821.53 representing 32.97 percent, while N465,935,358 billion for recurrent, only N225,575,200.60 representing 48.41 percent was released.
The statement read: “The attention of the Presidency has been drawn to recent media reports suggesting that the State House Medical Centre had received N11.01billion as appropriation for the period 2015-2017.
“According to the Permanent Secretary, contrary to the above claims, out of the total Capital Appropriation of N2,941,062,044.00 and Recurrent Appropriation of N465,935,358.00 for the period under reference, only the sum of N969,681,821.53 (representing 32.97%) for Capital and N225,575,200.60 (representing 48.41%) for Recurrent was actually released.
it may interest the public to know that there was zero capital allocation for the Medical Centre in 2017, while out of the N331,730,211.00 being recurrent appropriation for 2017, the actual amount released up to September was N91,370,053.60 (representing only 27.54%).
According to Arabi, the above figures are verifiable from the Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
“He observed that during the three-year period under review (indeed two years since no capital allocation for 2017), and despite the shortfalls between budgetary provisions and actual releases, the Medical Centre continued to provide free services to the over 10,000 registered patients annually. In addition, the Centre has continued to execute on-going projects.
“Giving further insight into the scope of the Medical Centre’s clientele, Arabi stressed that apart from the Presidency, other beneficiaries of the free services include political appointees, the military, para-military, other security agencies, members of the National Assembly, and the general public. “In the words of the Permanent Secretary, “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.”