The State House Clinic, the presidential healthcare facility was the topic of a senate hearing committee recently, as an official in the Presidency lamented there are budgetary challenges affecting operations of the health care facility.
This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary, State House, Umar Tijjani, to the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs, over President Muhammadu’s Buhari approval of the site for the construction of the Presidential Wing of the State House clinic within the precinct of the Aso Villa.
Mr Tijjani added that the health project is expected to be completed in the next two years before the end of the Buhari-led administration, citing that the new wing of the State House Clinic when completed, would serve the Nigerian populace and also cater to the medical needs of the President, Vice-President and other government officials.
This also comes at a time when the president is away from the country for medical treatment despite yearly budgetary allocations to the State House Clinic. The Permanent Secretary revealed that funding had plagued the operations of State House facilities.
He said the non-release of budgetary allocation to State House in full had become a challenge as some of the facilities at the statehouse are behind on maintenance. He cited that of the N8.699 billion budgeted for the State House in the 2018 fiscal year, only about N5.083 billion (58%) was released, leaving an outstanding balance of about N3.616 billion.
He said, “Just like you mentioned now, in 2018, about N8 billion was appropriated, out of which only about N5 billion was released.
”Definitely, looking at the enormity of the challenges that we are dealing with from day to day, that is affecting our performance.
“We are in a tradition of prudence and we also have not lost sight of the challenges that we have internationally, especially with COVID in regard to how much money the country in its entirety makes.
“However, I would like to say that the State House needs quite a formidable level of support and improvement in the funding.
He added that necessary intervention was needed by the State House in the building and construction of the Presidential wing of the State House Clinic.
However, according to research, the sum of N3,505,670,438 has been budgeted for the state house clinic since 2017.
Data from Nairalytics reveals that the sum allocated for the State House Clinic since 2017 are as follows:
- 2017: N331,730,211
- 2018: N1,030,458,453
- 2019: N798,856,093
- 2020: N703,440,241
- 2021: N641,185,440
The plan to expand the capacity for the State House to include a Presidential Wing would save the Nigerian taxpayer money on the foreign health trips of the President. However, facility maintenance has to be enforced to end the current situation where despite spending N3.5 billion on the health care facility since 2017, senior public health officials still cannot be treated at the State House Clinic.