By; Sunday Ode, Abuja.
The National Assembly on Thursday said persistent criticisms of the administration of the State House especially the State House Medical Centre are unfounded.
Speaking with correspondents after inspecting facilities at the Medical Centre as part of its oversight function, Honourable Nasiru Sani Zangon Daura, Chairman of the House Committee on Special Duties, who led other members of the Committee on an oversight function to the seat of government in respect of utilisation of the 2016 appropriation, said that the management of the State House should rather be commended for the judicious use of the resources released to them.
“I am happy with what I have seen. The public criticism we keep hearing, there are no drugs in the State House medical centre, there are no this there are no that, despite the fact that it is free service here , things are bound to finish . They have to wait for the releases to come before they can replenish. I think it’s a bit under the belt to grab them by the jugular and say they don’t do this or they don’t do that,” Hon. Zangon Daura said.
He urged the public to appreciate the fact that the services rendered are free on behalf of the Nigerian people and, “with the resources they have, and the ability to keep the machines running 24/7 with diesel power, that is something to be commended for, they are being prudent and using the meager resources they have to sustain the equipment.
He promised to suggest to the appropriation committee to increase the allocation to the Centre having gone round and appreciated what the management is going through.
While receiving the Honourable members, the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, appreciated the honorable members for coming to perform their responsibility as elected representatives of the people. He said that since the State House is built with public money, and is not a personal property , it is their duty to ensure that it is properly maintained. He added that they should come periodically to see how the money allocated for its maintenance is utilized as they will be preserving the ‘Symbol of the Nation’ .
In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary State House, Jalal Arabi, stated that the nature of the responsibilities on the seat of government, enormous at it is, sometimes ad hoc, based on exigencies within and outside the country often put tremendous pressure on the budgetary allocations to the seat of government. He assured that the State House had not introduced any new capital project in the 2017 budget estimates and that only N5,169,581,458.64 out of N11,140,852,016 representing 47.5 percent of the Capital Appropriation had been released till date.
He said that apart from the office of the President and the Vice-President, the State House has five other distinct cost centres. They are ; State House Headquarters, Office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Office of the Chief Security Officer to the President, State House Medical Centre and State House Liaison Office, Lagos.