The wife of the president Federal Republic of Nigeria, Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, has necessitated an investigation into the monetary expenditure by the State House Medical Centre.
Mrs Buhari revealed yesterday that she wanted to do an x-ray at the clinic few weeks ago, but was told the machine was not working.
She spoke at the opening of a two-day stakeholders meeting on Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition, organized by her pet project, Future Assured.
She said rather than heed the advice to seek medication in London, she insisted on being treated in Nigeria because there was a budget for the State House clinic to take care of Nigeria’s president, vice president, their families and staff of the Presidency.
Her revelation came five days after the permanent secretary of the clinic, Mr Jalal Arabi had, in a reaction to the media on patients’ lamentation over drug scarcity in the clinic, said N2 million was spent monthly on the maintenance of scanning machines.
Mrs Buhari said “Before I commence my speech, I’ll like to be realistic to say a few words concerning health in Nigeria and health delivery system in Nigeria. It’s very poor, sorry to say that. I am happy the MD of Aso Clinic is here, is he around? Dr Munir (Dr Hussain Munir, consultant cardiologist and the chief medical director at state house medical centre) or his representative? Ok, he is around.
“Ok Dr Munir, I’m happy you are here. As you are all aware for the last six months, Nigeria wasn’t stable because of my husband’s ill health, we thank God he has fully recovered now.
“If somebody like Mr President can spend several months outside Nigeria, then you wonder what will happen to a common man on the street in Nigeria.
“Few weeks ago, I was sick as well, they advised me to take the first flight out to London, I refused to go. I said I must be treated in Nigeria because there is a budget for an assigned clinic to take care of us.
“If the budget is N100 million, we need to know how the budget is spent. Along the line, I insisted they call Aso Clinic to find out if the X-ray machine is working, they said it is not working. They didn’t know I am the one that was supposed to be in that hospital at that very time.
“I had to go to a hospital that was established by foreigners in and out 100 percent. What does that mean?
“So, I think is high time for us to do the right thing. If something like this can happen to me, no need for me to ask the governors’ wives what is happening in their states. This is Abuja and this is the highest seat of government, and this is presidential villa. One of the speakers has already said we have very good policies in Nigeria. In fact, we have the best policies in Africa. Yes, of course, we have, but the implementation has been the problem.
“So, we need to change our mindset and do the right thing. I’m sure Dr Munir will not like me saying this but I have to say it out. As the Chief Medical Director, there are a lot of constructions going on in this hospital but there is no single syringe there what does that mean? Who will use the building? We have to be good in reasoning. You are building new building and there is no equipment, no consumables in the hospital and the construction is still going on.
“Going back to the same health issue in Nigeria, as a result of spending several months by the President outside Nigeria, a 40-year-old man who was still living in his father’s house, created a state out of a state and that is a major setback for the country and the health sector did not benefit.”