The Senate has ordered an investigation into the N400 billion primary health centre projects abandoned across the country.
The Red Chamber mandated its committees on Health, Primary Health Care and Communicable Disease, Works and Housing to determine the status of the funds warehoused with the then Bank PHB (now Keystone Bank) and the level of the projects in each of the 774 local government areas.
The resolution followed a motion by senators Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central) and Sadiq Suleiman Umar (APC, Kwara North) on the floor of the Senate Wednesday.
The National Primary Health Centre project was initiated by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2006 to build in each of the 774 local government areas a 60-bed primary health centre which was to be complemented with a three-bedroom flat, doctors quarters, an ambulance, all basic hospital equipment and drugs.
Oloriegbe, in his lead debate, noted that to achieve the project, the Federal Government deducted monies from the excess crude account of all the 774 LGs on a monthly basis, warehoused the same with the then Platinum Habib Bank (now Keystone Bank) until the funds required for the actualization of the project was realized.
He said the Bill of Quantities for the project was prepared by the then Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and approved by the Bureau of Public Procurement.
The lawmaker further said that despite all those professional pre-contract activities, the contract for the execution of the projects in the entire 774 Local Government Areas was awarded to Messrs Mattans Nig. Ltd without any known tendering and selection process.
He observed that Messrs Mattans Nig. Ltd. proceeded and sub-contracted out the jobs to consultants and subcontractors without any verification of capacity and capabilities to properly execute the jobs and without the consent of the government or its agencies involved then.
Oloriegbe added that various sums of money were released to these sub-contractors through the accounts of Messr Mattans Nig. Ltd domiciled with the then Platinum Habib Bank (now Keystone Bank) to carry out the projects at the selected locations across the 774 Local Government Areas in the Country.
The lawmaker expressed worry that some of these projects were commenced and abandoned at various stages while a majority of them were never started despite huge sums of money released to all the sub-contractors.
The Senate, accordingly, directed its committees to probe the status of the project; carry-out evaluation of the consultant, contractor and sub-contractors that participated; level of dilapidation of the projects; and recommend ways of completing them nationwide.