Isaac Adewole, Minister of Health, says more than 3,000 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) have been revitalised by the Federal Government in conjunction with state governments and other foreign missions in the country.
Adewole made this known in an interview published by Premium Times on Sunday, adding that many more PHCs would receive attention from the health ministry.
“At the last count, Niger has done 40. We did three in Niger and we call them model PHCs, so they can follow cue. The President commissioned one in Kuchingoro (FCT),” Adewole said.
“In Kaduna, the Governor has done 255. I’ve commissioned in Kebbi, Abia and other states. What we are asking the governors to do is to invest and we partner with them.
“I can also tell you as of today, the World Bank has done about 1,500 PHCs. The EU is committed to 774. The British government is doing 950. FG was committed to 110 last year. This year, we will do more.”
Adewole said that the reports that the Federal Government promised to refurbish 10,000 PHCs was wrong, as the government at the centre only said that it would be happy to see 10,000 PHCs revitalised in Nigeria — not that it would undertake the project itself.
“When you say PHC projects, are you talking about federal? Because PHC is not under us, it’s under LGAs. Why we made PHC a focus is that we just have to take care of them. But normally, PHC is not the responsibility of the FG,” Adewole explained.
However, a number of investigations done by ICIR on the state of Primary Healthcare Centres across the country show that many of them are still in the state of decay. Some that were renovated are under lock and key, and are being overgrown by bushes.
Journalists, supported by ICIR, toured the six geo-political zones of the country, from the North Central, to the North West, South East, to the South South and South West. The reports remain the same: abandoned PHCs scattered all over with citizens groaning under the pains of ill-health.
Earlier this month, Adewole, writing on his Twitter handle, said that more than 3,000 PHCs had been revitalised by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
But when this reporter urged the minister to provide details of the PHCs so far refurbished, for verification, he did not get any reply.
Honourable Minister Sir, could you please provide details of the PHCs that have been upgraded so far. Reporters have been round the country and the realities on ground do not support this claim sir.
— Chukwunaeme (@Chukwunaeme1) February 1, 2018