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Senate to suspend budget of FEDCAM over non-productivity



The Senate says it will ensure that no budget is released to the Federal College of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (FEDCAM) of Nigeria over non-productivity.

Sen. Banibo Ipalibo, Chairperson, Senate Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary) disclosed this in Thursday when she led members of the committee on oversight visit to the college in Abuja.

It was reported the committee also visited other health facilities in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Our correspondent reports that FEDCAM was established in 2009 with a mandate to train alternative medicine practitioners in the health care delivery services and also to carry out clinical works and as well providw an alternative method of treating ailments and research.

Ipalibo, while expressing her disappointment on the non-productivity of the institute said that nothing was happening there.

“There are no students, the staff members are not coming to work and the building they rented is unused.

“It is supposed to be a key area in alternative medicine, it is such a place we could train our children but non of that is happening there and as such, the committee will definitely look into that.

“We will ensure that no budget is released and no tax payers money is wasted in such a project until the project comes back on stage and provides the services that this country needs,” she said.

Chief Accountant of the College, Mr Abayomi Abiodun disclosed that the there were over 132 workers of the establishment.

He recalled that in 2011, the Ministry of Health suspended the management staff and appointed an interim administrative team.

“From 2011 to 2019, FEDCAM was administered by the interim administrative team of the ministry of health.

“We have been trying to see how the college will come on board but unfortunately, last year, the ministry decided to place hold and suspend the activities of the college.

“Without the principal leadership of this college, absolutely nothing can take place because the ministry has a way of doing their things.

“These and other more, are our challenges,” he said.

NAN reports that other facilities visited by the committee included the National Hospital, Abuja, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) and Federal Staff Hospital, Gwarimpa.

While at the National Hospital, Ipalibo expressed satisfaction with the services rendered by the hospital.

“They have a lot of potentials, there is a lot more that they can do if they are provided with more equipment.

“The hospital is also doing a lot of cancer care,” she said.

Ipalibo assured the management of the hospital of legislative backing to further boost its activities.

At the NHIA, the Director-General, Dr Kelechi Ohiri said that the agency was currently finalising the 2021 and 2022 Audit.

He said the reports would be completed in March while the 2023 Audit Report would also be concluded on time.

Ohiri said an estimated 15,000 persons had been enrolled on health insurance from both the national and the state health insurance authorities.

He said the figure represented about seven per cent of the population but too low to provide health coverage for Nigeria.

The DG said, in 2023, a total of N128 million was generated internally from enrollees and accreditation of Health Maintenance Organisations (HMOs) and health care facilities, among others.

He said about half of the total sum was remitted to the federation account.

Naomi Sharang

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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