From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Osun State Government has debunked allegations by Senator Francis Fadahunsi that the state received a certain N9 bililon World Bank fund with nothing to show for it.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Oyetola Ismaill Omipidan and made available to media in kaduna yesterday
The statement stated that the first reaction was to ignore him. But coming from a lawmaker who prides himself as a distinguished member of a hallowed chamber that abhors misinformation and fake news, I am compelled to put the records straight.
Distinguished Senator, using current black market rate to convert a sum that was converted about two years ago by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, at the prevailing exchange rate at the time smacks of mischief on your part.
First, there was no N9 bililon grant anywhere. What we have is a grant of 20million US dollars from the World Bank, following our impressive performance under the Saving One Million Lives Programme for Result, which the CBN converted about two years ago, at the prevailing exchange rate in that year, which at best was N305.
“To show transparency and accountability, the said amount is domiciled with the CBN, and releases are made only when they satisfy World Bank procurement process.
“The fund, which has always been domiciled with the CBN, is specifically meant to rehabilitate and revitalise our 332 Primary Healthcare Centres, PHCs, one per ward, across the State on the basis of the survey and audit carried out by the Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Bank.
,”Of the 332 PHCs we set out to rehabilitate and revitalise, the administration, as at today, awarded 315, but 256 are ready and have been fully equipped and are up and running. In Fadahunsi’s Ijesa area alone, we have inaugurated 47 PHCs. Specifically, in Obokun Local Government Area, where the lawmaker comes from, five of the PHCs are up and running.
‘ It will interest Sen. Fadahunsi and the reading public to know that apart from fixing the PHCs to standard, the State government is also fixing the major general hospitals in Osun. For instance, it is constructing a 120-bed ward and 30 units of Doctors’ quarters at Asubiaro Specialist Hospital, Osogbo, just as it has rehabilitated and revitalised the Ejigbo General Hospital, which today is equipped with state-of- the-art equipment.
‘Additionally, the government has also rehabilitated and revitalised the General Hospital at Ifetedo. Apart from spending on infrastructure, we also cater for the welfare of our medical personnel.
“In February, the governor approved the implementation of 100 percent payment of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for all health workers in the State, thereby putting an end to the eight-year agitation for salary increment by medical and health workers in the State.
“Again, in the 2019 PHC Under One Roof assessment, carried out by the Federal Ministry of Health, Osun came first alongside Sokoto. Both States were adjudged the best for the provision of basic health care to their citizens. In Osun, we have invested about N630 million in our Health Insurance Scheme.
“If Sen. Fadahunsi is not abreast of developments back home, he should ask to be properly briefed. It is the honourable thing to do rather than attempt to misinform the unsuspecting members of the public with lies and unverifiable tales.
“ One unique thing about the fund is that, apart from the fact that it is domiciled with the CBN, and is only released after due process is strictly completed, the entire project was examined and audited even before the funds were released by the World Bank.
“Therefore, it is not a slush fund. As I write, we are yet to exhaust the fund because the projects are ongoing and the fund is still with the CBN”, the statement said.