By Okunade Adekunle, Lagos
Lagos Lawmakers have made moves to probe the abandoned N7billion Cardiac Renal facility centre in Gbagada General Hospital.
The lawmakers initiated the move after a report was read by the Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Health, Hon. Hakeem Sokunle.
Sokunle, in his report, stated that members of his committee had embarked on a tour to ascertain health facilities across the state.
“We observed that there is shortage of manpower, non-functioning ambulances, insecurity, unequipped laboratories and more importantly abandonment of multi- billion naira Casio renal facility,” he said.
According to him, most of the equipment in the hospital are not working and I got report that the cardio renal machines only worked for two weeks before the facility was locked up. Also, most of the sensitive equipment are obsolete.
While contributing, Hon. Tunde Buraimoh (Kosofe 2) expressed his displeasure over the issue.
“It is disheartening that the investment of the State in the hospital is being abandoned. If these facilities are functioning, we would have saved many lives and reduce the constant medical tours to India,” he said.
He pleaded that the Committee be given authority to delve more into the matter from the point of supply of equipment and how they stopped functioning.
On his part, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade (Ikorodu 1) said that if equipment of such magnitude is cited in the state of excellence; it is for a purpose and that it must not be wasted.
He therefore moved that the suppliers of the equipment be invited for questioning and that the investigation must attract public participation.
Sokunle therefore moved that the House should give the committee the power to invite the Ministry of Health to appear before the Committee to give clarification on issues bothering on the N7 billion cardio-renal equipment facility in Gbagada General Hospital.
The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa directed the clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni to write a letter to the Ministry of Health and invite necessary stakeholders on the issue.
However, it was reported that Lagos State Cardiac and Renal Centre, Gbagada, a multi-billion naira health facility, is presumed to be one of the signature legacies of the administration of former governor Babatunde Fashola, neglected by his successor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
The abandonment of the facility has come with a huge cost, especially with the rising statistics of Lagosians, and indeed Nigerians, who are battling with various cardiac and renal diseases.
The abandonment of this facility has come with a huge cost, especially with the rising statistics of Lagosians, and indeed Nigerians, who are battling with various cardiac and renal diseases.
Investigation revealed the real reasons the ‘super tertiary hospital’ has been grounded since June 8, 2016, when the concessionaire- Renescor Health LLP, pulled out of the management deal.
The facility, according to the state’s ministry of health, was built at a cost of N5.6 billion. But since its contract was awarded in 2008, it had been mired in controversies over allegations of overinflated quotations, poor civil work, among others.
The infighting involved some key stakeholders including Mr Fashola, Mr Ambode and the promoter of the contractor- Deux Project Limited – Tunji Olowolafe, among others, which further compounded the messy situation.
Though skeletal services had commenced at the facility in 2014, it was officially inaugurated on March 18, 2015, few weeks to the expiration of Mr Fashola’s second term in office. It was aimed at halting the rising cardio-renal cases, its attendant costs of capital flight and the challenges Nigerian patients were going through to access care abroad.