Calls for Clinical Implementation of the Costed Work Plan in a Transparent Manner
(Abuja – March 7, 2017) Follow The Money, the largest governmental transparency and accountability grassroots watchdog has received specific details from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), on its implementation of N18.6 million contract sum for the rehabilitation of a Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) at Afia Nsit Urua Nko, Akwa Ibom State. The appropriation was on the agency’s 2016 budget with the code A02020285.
Since September, 2016, Follow The Money Team has been tracking the implementation of N10.5 million (amount budgeted, while N18.6 million was the contract sum) for the rehabilitation of the aforementioned PHC. We did on-site visitations, community outreach and stakeholder engagement at the community. At that time, no sort of implementation was ongoing at the PHC while the facility had no water supply, electricity, security, functioning wards, beds, equipments, several vaccines with its infrastructure in a dilapidated state.
Consequently, we wrote a Freedom of Information request to the NPHCDA in October, 2016 asking why no sort of implementation has started at the PHC, while requesting for the project’s contract award document and costed workplan. The agency replied in November of the same year that the contracting process was still ongoing and to that effect, could not provide the requested details. We wrote again on 7 February, 2017 asking if the said contracting process has been concluded while still demanding for the aforementioned specifics.
After the whole back and forth, and surprising responsiveness of the NPHCDA, on 28 February 2017, the agency provided us with the contract award document and costed workplan. They also stated that after conducting a condition survey, the appropriation was upgraded to N20.7 million from N10.5 million, while 18.6 million contract sum was awarded to a contractor: Krisbass Ventures Nigeria Ltd.
On learning about these details provided by the NPHCDA, Hamzat Lawal, the Chief Executive of Connected Development and Co-Founder, Follow The Money said: “We appreciate the details provided by the NPHCDA on this project. While several other governmental agencies have shown ceaseless pococurante attitude in responding to Freedom of Information requests, it is phenomenal that the NPHCDA is amongst the very few responsive ones in this respect.
It’s imperative that we also know how much that has been released to the contractor. We did not find this in NPHCDA’s reply.”
He further commented that, “Our tracking of the implementation of the N18.6 million has not stopped at the details receipt. We would swing into action again and engage the contractor in the project’s implementation. We are on ground to ensure accountability in the clinical implementation of the costed workplan.”
The rural community members were happy to receive this news and earnestly await the rehabilitation of the PHC to be able to access healthcare in conducive infrastructure. The PHC serves about 20 patients per day (600 per month) especially under 5 children and nursing mothers from around 3 villages. It doesn’t run 24/7 and can’t admit a patient as a result of insufficient infrastructure. The locals resort to traditional ways of delivering babies because of the PHC’s reprehensible state.
Ultimately, it is exceedingly important to note that the rehabilitation of PHCs on 2016 budget was in line with President Buhari administration’s commitment to revitalize 10,000 rural healthcare facilities around the country, so as to improve the country’s health outcome. The commitment also influenced World Bank’s provision of $55.5 million healthcare credit last year to the Nigerian government.
Connected Development [CODE] Founded in 2012, Connected Development is a nonprofit with headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria. Its mission is to improve access to information and empower rural communities in Africa through creating platforms for dialogues, enabling informed debates and building capacities of marginalized communities, so as to ensure socio-economic progress, while promoting transparency and accountability.
Its initiative, Follow The Money tracks, advocates and visualizes the implementation of capital governmental appropriations and international grants/loans in rural communities around health, education and environment. Website:http://followthemoneyng.org