OrderPaperToday- The House of Representatives has mandated the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to stay action on the termination of the Concession Agreement on Garki General Hospital, Abuja pending the outcome of the investigation of House on the matter.
The lawmakers further mandated the Committees on Privatisation and Commercialisation, and Health Institutions to intervene and liaise with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and the FCTA to resolve the issues for enhanced healthcare delivery in the Federal Capital Territory.
Equally, the relevant Committees were given five working days within which to round up its investigation and submit the report to House for further legislative action.
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These resolutions were reached on Thursday, sequel to a motion presented by Benjamin Bem Mzondu (PDP, Benue) and co-sponsored by Yunusa Abubakar Ahmed (APC, Gombe) and Balarabe Shehu Kakale (PDP, Sokoto).
The motion titled: ‘Urgent Need to Save Over 900 Medical Officers From Losing Their Jobs over the Termination of Public-Private-Partnership Concession Agreement on Garki General Hospital, Abuja.’
House notes that in 2007, the Federal Government through the Federal Capital Territory Executive Committee authorized the concession of Garki General Hospital, Abuja on a Public-Private-Partnership arrangement to a competent Private Healthcare Provider on the basis of a Public-Private Partnership for a period of 15 years.
The House was also informed that in March 2007, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) signed a concession agreement with NISA Premier Hospital to manage the Garki General Hospital Abuja on a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) arrangement;
Accordingly, the lawmakers noted that the FCT administration on March 1, 2022, gave the management of the hospital notice to vacate and hand over the facility by April 1, 2022, following the expiration of the concession agreement and the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with NISA Premier Hospital.
The Green Chamber also complained that “over 900 workers including 21 Consultants, 113 Medical Doctors, 24 House Officers, 159 Nurses, 96 Patient Care Attendants, Pharmacists, Medical Record Officers, Laboratory Scientists, and other technicians may lose their jobs.
Recalls that the management of the hospital had written severally to the FCT administration for a review of the concession agreement without any response until March 1 2022 when the FCT administration sent a letter terminating the Concession Agreement with NISA Premier Hospital with the intention to take over the facility and hand over to another concessionaire;
Worried that the short notice of termination of the concession agreement and takeover of the Garki Hospital by the FCT Administration may lead to the displacement of over 3000 patients with different health conditions, and many highly sensitive expensive world-class medical equipment may be damaged as much longer time is needed to be re-calibrated before removal and sudden termination notice which is not in tandem with PPP agreements according to Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission Act.”
Meanwhile, it complained that the one-month notice given the concessionaire (NISA Premier Hospital) to vacate the Hospital premises may be inadequate and contrary to Article 2.2 of the Concession Agreement and Regulation 29 of the Guidelines on Public-Private Partnership pursuant to the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) Act.
The Agreement specifies that a transition Committee made up of parties to the Concession Agreement and the ICRC be constituted to wind down the agreement within a period of 36 months.
Ahmed in contributing to the debate clarified that the House does not intend to halt the process, but to ensure that the procedure follows due process.
This he said is in consideration of the wellbeing of all parties involved, including the medical personnel as well as the patients at the hospital. He called for a seamless transition to the new owners.
Deputy Speaker of the House, Ahmed Idris Wase praised the sensitivity and passion of the House on the issue. While praising the argument on the motion, he however called for balance in the prayers of the motion. He further sued for claim between both parties.
The motion was adopted when put to a voice vote by the presiding officer, Femi Gbajabiamila and referred to the House Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation.