Equip State House Clinic To Stop Buhari From Making Medical Trips Abroad – Senate Committee

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.
A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

The Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, on Thursday, asked State House officials to put its clinic in order and equip it to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari would have no need to travel abroad for medical treatment.

The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Danjuma La’ah, made this remark when the Permanent Secretary of the State House, Mr. Tijani Umar, appeared before the panel to defend his 2021 budget estimates.

The State House official had presented a budget of N19.7 billion for 2021, out of which N1.3 billion was proposed for the State House Clinic.

Senator La’ah said the committee would approve the budget for the State House Clinic but insisted that the President and other top officials of his government should no longer be flown abroad for medical treatment.

President Buhari’s first term in office was punctuated by medical trips to the United Kingdom.

Between 2017 and 2018, he travelled abroad at least thrice for medical reasons. One of the trips lasted for over 100 days. 

The President, himself, in 2019 lamented that Nigeria loses too much to medical tourism, urging stakeholders to come up with a solution.

In March, the Central Bank of Nigeria launched a N100 billion credit support intervention for the healthcare industry amid the coronavirus pandemic.

One of the credit support’s objective was to “reduce health tourism to conserve foreign exchange.”

 

Aisha Buhari Calls For Probe Of State House Medical Centre

Aisha Buhari Calls For Probe Of State House Medical Centre

The wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has called for a probe into how the budget for the State House Medical Centre is being utilised.

The call comes barely one week after the management of the hospital said it would seek the commercialisation of the centre to boost its revenue.

Mrs Buhari, who addressed a gathering today (Monday) in Abuja, decried the “lack of facilities”, including syringes, at the hospital despite the huge budgetary allocation and ongoing construction there.

READ ALSO: FG To Commercialise State House Medical Centre

“Few weeks ago I was sick as well, they advised me to take the first flight out to London (but) I refused to go,” she said at the opening of a two-day stakeholders meeting on RMNCAH+N (Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent Health and Nutrition).

“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,” she added.

The President’s wife also decried the poor state of healthcare delivery in the country and what it portends for the people.

She recalled the recent trips made by her husband to London for medical attention and wondered what would happen to Nigerians who could not afford to travel abroad for treatment.

She said, “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.”

Jonathan Says He Is Most Documented President In Nigeria’s History

jonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan says he is the most documented president in the history of Nigeria, following the works of his Special Adviser on Research, Documentation and Strategy, Mr Oronto Douglas.

The President was paying tribute to late Oronto Douglas at the end of a commendation service in his honour at the Saint Peters Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Yenegoa, Bayelsa State.

He said that Oronto was a dedicated and committed special adviser who stood by him till the end, without any sign of betrayal.

He said that Oronto was a dependable ally who will be missed at all times.
Oronto Douglas

The Bayelsa State Governor, Mr Seriake Dickson, in his tribute, extolled the selfless life Oronto Douglas lived and promised that the legacies he left behind should not be allowed to die.

Governor Dickson, who said that the experience and vast contacts of Douglas Oronto would be greatly missed, called on well meaning Nigerians to rally round the Oronto family to ensure that they do not suffer.

He also disclosed plans to give out scholarships up to university level to his children, as a token of appreciation of his life of service to the people of Bayelsa State.

As part of the tributes, children from the EK Clerk Preparatory School founded by Oronto Douglas, made a presentation in honour of their founder.

Douglas Oronto was a foremost environmental activist renowned for his intellectual articulation of the Niger Delta struggle.

He died on April 9, 2015, four months to his 49th birthday.

Jonathan, Sambo Mourn Oronto Douglas

Oronto DouglasCondolences have started pouring into the family home of the late Special Adviser to the President on Research, Documentation and Strategy Mister Douglas Oronto who passed on Thursday morning.

President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo, were the early callers at the Abuja residence of Mr Oronto to commiserate with the wife, Mrs Terinabo Oronto, and the other members of the family.

Prayers were said for the peaceful repose of the soul of the departed and for the family to bear the loss with fortitude.

In his condolence message, Vice President Namadi Sambo, said Nigeria has lost a very good man, who has contributed positively to the development of the country.

While President Goodluck Jonathan described him as a dedicated and committed personality with a strong will even to death.

The Late Oronto Douglas, one of President Jonathan’s influential aides, is said to have passed on at the State House Clinic early on Thursday morning.

Reports revealed that he battled a terminal illness but it is not clear the cause of his death

Mr Douglas, until his death was the Special Adviser to the President on Research, Documentation and Strategy.

A lawyer and an influential environmentalist, Mr. Douglas served as a Commissioner for Information in Bayelsa State.

He was responsible for the documentation of the President’s achievements, legacies and coordinated campaign strategies.