A Primary Healthcare Centre in Zuma, Bwari Local Council of FCT, built at the cost of N21,986, 983.95 as an MDG project has not received a single patient since it was completed in 2014.
The reason is not that people in the farming community of Zuma are immune to illness, but because government has refused to open it and residents of the community still have to travel on bicycle to Bwari to access medical treatment and to have their pregnant women put to bed.
“Even though the PHC is completed with all necessary amenities, including a borehole, government is yet to staff the clinic and open it for us,” says a resident of the area.
This discovery was made by Public and Private Development Centre, PPDC, a Non-Governmental Organisation that seeks to promote citizens’ participation in governance.
The PPDC visited the community recently to see how the health centre was contributing to the quality of life the people were living, but was shocked to find that the investment was actually wasting.
Seember Nyager, leader of the team, said they found an abandoned facility that was under lock and key when the community was “crying” for medical attention.
Nyager said in a report that residents of “ the Zuma community had been excited when the PHC was being built because they had believed that it would take away the hardship of having to access health services farther away – especially in emergency situations. Unfortunately, since the completion of the PHC, it had not been commissioned or used for its purpose. Two years after its construction, the existence of a PHC in Zuma community has made no difference to the lives of its inhabitants,”
Worried by such waste of national resources, the PPDC sought a meeting with the Senate Committee on Public Procurement and they were scheduled for June 20, to discuss the abandoned health facility and how it can be put to use for the benefit of the people.
Members of the PPDC team included Samuel Umejiaku, Ugochi Ekwueme, Gift Omoidedia and Nkem Ilo.
But when the team arrived National Assembly for the meeting, members of the committee were not on hand to meet them. Instead it was the clerk of the committee, Lawal Bugundu, that met with them.
Bugundu asked them why they had come, and after the explanations he told them what could have happened to the project.
“After explaining the duties of the committee, he went on to ask about the project, it’s location, the name of the contractor and the agency handling the project which Seember responded to. He also asked about the present status of the project and if we have confirmed from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, the liquidity of the project. He explained that some projects might have been implemented by the contractor without funds from the FG who will then release funds after implementation. If funds are not released by the FG, the contractor holds on to the project until funds have been paid by the FG.
“Furthermore, he revealed that about 11,000 projects have been abandoned across the country while in Niger Delta, contractors are paid mobilization fees as high as N200 million without mobilizing. He thanked the PPDC team for bringing this to his notice and promised to carry out an investigation on the matter.”