On Thursday, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the House of Representatives, which is looking into the possible mismanagement of COVID-19 intervention funds from 2020-2022, questioned the Chief Medical Directors of the Federal Medical Centers and Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospitals across the country regarding billions of Naira that have been allocated to their respective institutions.
The Committee, chaired by Hon. Bamidele Salam, found multiple infractions in their presentations, the infractions include conflicting figures, unaccounted expenditures among others.
The Committee insisted that records must be set straight in order to support the prudent use of the funds allotted to them during the emergency period.
As a result, the Committee dismissed the CMDs and gave them a strict instruction to return and appear before it with flawless submissions that were supported by legitimate and pertinent documents; otherwise, they would face the appropriate consequences.
The Chairman of the Committee Hon Bamidele Salam however reiterated that the Committee would not entertain delay tactics from the MDAs and it has a time frame within which to conclude its assignment.
The affected Federal Health Institutions are Federal Medical Centre Asaba, Delta State N47.67bn, National Hospital Abuja N47.67bn, Federal Medical Centre Jalingo, Taraba State N47.67bn, Federal Medical Centre ,N47.67bn, Birini Kudu, Jigawa State N47. 67hn Federal Medical Centre Yenegoa, Bayelsa State N47 67bn Federal Medical Centre Ebute-Metta, Lagos State N47.67bn
Others which also took the same allocation of N47.67bn reach are Federal Medical Centre Yola, Adamawa State, Federal Medical Centre Azare, Baluchi State, Federal Medical Centre, Kebbi State, National Orthopedic Hospital Dala Kano State, National Orthopedic Hospital Enugu State , Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Enugu State, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Kaduna State, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Cross River State, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Maiduguri, Borno State
Others that had earlier appeared before the Committee are Federal Medical Centre Lokoja, Kogi state; Federal Medical Centre, Asaba, Delta state; the National Ear Care Centre, Kaduna and National Eye Centre also based in Kaduna.
However the Committee cleared the National Eye Centre Kaduna of all allegations having proved that it judiciously used the money allocated to it as Covid-19 intervention, the FMC Lokoja and Asaba were not lucky as presentation of conflicting figures and inability to explain certain violations of extant laws were detected.
The Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja, Dr. Olatunde Oladeji Alabi came under heat when the committee noted that there were a lot of repeated figures in his presentations
Speaking on the development, the Chairman of the Committee Hon Bamidele Salam said “apparently, Medical Director, there are a lot of gaps in your presentation, some of which you agreed and they are very fundamental because what we want to achieve with this investigation is to ensure that we have value for money.
“If you look at it, the medical centres have the same practice they are executing and it is the same standard cost. It is a standard practice in the medical practice that allows this. But the medical centres are not of the same size and capacity.
“So, we need to be sure that these items are procured using the best standard of pricing. And the contracts are executed to specification. So, I will be setting up a sub-committee of this committee to pay a visit to your institution”, .
However, the duo of Dr. Mustapha Abubakar, the Medical Director of National Ear Care Centre, Kaduna and that of FMC Asaba, Dr. Victor Azubuike, were referred to a sub-committee of the committee to reconcile their figures as well as harmonise their presentations having noticed that their oral presentations differed significantly with the documented submissions they earlier made to the committee
The probe which was still in progress as at the time of filing this report will continue on Friday.
COVID-19: Reps Question Federal Medical Center CMDs, Expose Multiple Infractions is first published on The Whistler Newspaper