The Nigerian government is proposing to spend more on capital projects at the State House Medical Centre this year than it would provide for the 16 teaching hospitals belonging to it.
If the proposed budget is approved as presented to federal lawmakers, the State House Clinic will get N787 million more in capital allocation than all the 16 teaching hospitals combined.
The State House Medical Centre is a facility that provides healthcare for President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, their families and other employees of the Presidency, all possibly less than a thousand.
Federal teaching hospitals cater for the heath needs of millions of Nigerians, train medical doctors and other health professionals for the nation while also serving as top medical research centres.
A breakdown of the 2016 Appropriation Bill shows that a total of N3.87billion has been allocated for capital projects at the State House Clinic.
In contrast, the country’s 16 federal government-owned teaching hospitals individually only got a fraction of the allocation made for the presidential clinic.
According to the proposed budget, N212,539,245 has been allocated for capital projects at the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital in Lagos, one of the country’s most populous states, while the capital allocation for the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Kaduna, is N230,904,795.
READ NICHOLAS IBEKWE’S ARTICLE ON PREMIUM TIMES FOR AN INDEPTH REPORT ON THE BUDGET