ALGON revisits abandoned hospital project in Kano

By Yakubu SALISU, Kano


TWO months after an investigative story by Metrodaily Nigeria about the abandoned primary healthcare facility project at Garun Sheme, Kunchi LGA of Kano state, where no fewer than 100 women die annually during childbirth due to lack of functional healthcare facilities, the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, ALGON has revisited the site.

The investigation, supported by the John D. And Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) discovered that the project, awarded sometimes in 2007 was abandoned two years later and not completed till date.

The 27 – room hospital and a doctor’s residential quarter has been left uncompleted since 2009 by the contractor , Trustcon Nigeria Limited due to non-release of funds.

However, a recent visit to the village revealed that the Association has revisited the project site after the report, and erected a new signboard showing the contractor’s detail.

When contacted, the District Head, Garun Sheme, Mal. Haruna Abubakar said it was a relief for the villagers to see the new signboard  with the Association’s name and that of the contractor erected at the site of the abandoned project.

Although, he hasn’t been informed about the continuation of the project, he expressed hopes that work would resume soon at the project site.

Abubakar reiterated that the villagers  still experience health complications which often results in death as a result of lack of standard and functioning clinic.

The situation forces the residents to travel to Kano city, a journey of not less than 50 kilometers, or to other places such as  Kazaure, Kunchi town or Bichi to access good hospital.

He said the diseases such as malaria and typhoid pose great threats to the lives of the villagers particularly the children, leading to grave hardship and deaths.

Haruna called on government  to come to their rescue and charges ALGON to speedily  complete the hospital so as to help save the lives of the villagers from more deaths.

Recall this reporter visited the ALGON headquarters in Abuja, October, 2020 where he was informed that the national president who doubles as the chief accountant and resides in Lagos is in custody of the file containing the needed information as such, no information was available at the head office in Abuja.

An FOI letter was subsequently sent requesting information on the Garun Sheme contract but no reply was also given three weeks after the visit.

In the request letter dated October 14, the agency was asked to provide information, including the name of the contractor, contract amount, amounts released so far as well as the contractor’s address but the agency declined the request.

The Member representing Kunchi/Tsanyawa Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Hon Sani Bala, had previously promised that as a result of these investigations he would henceforth collaborate with the incoming local government chairman from the district to ensure that he includes the completion of the abandoned project as part of his priorities.

He stressed that efforts would be made for the state government to take over the project being an immovable project in the local government.

Hon. Bala stated that the investigation had drawn his attention to the abandoned project and would henceforth ensure the state government come to the aid of the people from the affected villages.






     

     

    When Contacted over the recent development, Hon. Bala described it as a welcome move saying that the people of Garun Sheme a notable ward in the LGA have peculiar challenges bordering around health and drinkable water.

    According to him, in a bid to alleviate the sufferings of the people in the area in terms of access to quality healthcare system, the available primary healthcare hospital in the area was supplied some equipment but much couldn’t have been done because the primary facility has no space to accommodate much.

    In view of the above, Hon Sani pledged that he would continue making efforts to ensure that the village’s major problems are presented before the 9th Assembly and included in the budgets for execution.

    The lawmaker also promised to see to the completion and functioning of the healthcare centre.

     

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