Ebun Francis || The management of Aso Rock Clinic which has come under intense public scrutiny following criticism from the wife and daughter of President Muhamadu Buhari on Sunday said it did not receive any capital funding from the 2017 budget.
The clinic also claimed it received only N1.2 billion (N1, 195,257, 021) between 2015 and 2017, as expenditure.
In a statement signed by Attah Esa, a deputy director of Information, the amount consists of N970 million (N969, 681, 821.53) for capital projects and N226 million (N225, 575, 200.60) for recurrent expenditure.
Esa said the amount received represents 33 percent of capital expenditure and 46 percent of recurrent expenditure from appropriation in the last three years.
Read the full detail of Esa’s statement…
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, State House, Jalal A. Arabi, 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.
Mr. Arabi also said 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%).
The Permanent Secretary emphasised that 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.”