Despite President Muhammadu Buhari spending months outside the country for medical reasons, a report by the New Telegraph reveals that a total of N9.17 billion has been spent on the operations of the State House Medical Centre between 2015 and 2018.
According to the report, the figure could hit N10 billion if the N823.44 million the government proposed for the operations of the facility in the 2019 budget is not slashed by the National Assembly.
Further analysis of the details of the proposed spending on the facility for this year, which were obtained from the 2019 Appropriation Bill submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari last month, indicate that the proposed expenditure of N823.44 million for the Clinic is made up of N331.73 million total recurrent and N491.71 million total capital expenditure.
A breakdown of the figures also shows that the government is proposing to spend N208.35 million on the purchase of drugs and medical supplies for the facility while N14.26 million will be spent to buy uniforms and other clothing.
Similarly, the data shows that the maintenance of IT/office equipment for the medical centre will gulp N91.19 million while local training for personnel will cost the government N6.43 million this year.
In addition, the government is planning to spend N11.52 million on local travel and transport expenses for staff of the centre.
Interestingly, apart from the budgetary allocation for the Aso Rock Clinic, the Federal Government’s 2019 budget proposal also has N51.82 million as “medical expenses.”
Although the Aso Rock Clinic was established to provide health care for only the President, the Vice President, their families and other employees of the Presidency, analysts point out that what the facility receives in terms of budgetary allocations annually is a lot more than what is allocated to each of the 16 major teaching hospitals across the country which take care of health needs of millions of Nigerians, train medical doctors and other health professionals for the nation.