How N4.3 billion Utako District Hospital “Rots Away” More than 17 Years After

Kenny Folarin, Abuja

Without mincing words, the current health system in Nigeria and the yearly low budgetary allocation to the system is nothing but miserable.

This was clearly demonstrated during the COVID 19 pandemic which took the world by storm and Nigeria had to rely on imported vaccines despite large numbers of “brains” in the medical field that could salvage the situation.

The case of the Utako District Hospital outrightly exemplify the pitiable state of Nigeria’s health sector, the fact that the hospital is located in the Federal Capital Territory did not even bother present and past administration to complete the structure, rather Ministers in the FCT did not bat an eyelid on the issue.

The 220-bed hospital complex which has been standing in the district for more than 16 years currently in a deplorable state has several buildings at various stages of completion; among them are a two and three-storey buildings.

Several uncompleted structures within its walls have collapsed while the integrity of others still standing is uncertain.

While reptiles currently enjoy their abode in the building, farmers are not left behind but has taken advantage of the neglect to plant maize especially during the raining season.

Obviously, construction at the complex was suspended as the contractor has moved his equipment out of the construction site though some power generating sets have been left behind, Daily Trust reported in 2016.

The report further gathered that the construction and equipping of the hospital was awarded at the cost of over N4.3 billion to M/S PPC Medical Systems but the hospital is currently a shadow of itself.

Apart from the stench from water log and waste in the building which some people has turn as their resident and has been living there for years, it currently serve as a save haven for drug peddlers, rogues and hardened criminal, surprisingly, the hospital is not situated in a remote area but along the Obafemi Awolowo road, not far from the Arab junction in Utako.

While the Federal Capital Territory Administration remain aloof on the issue, the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has lost direction in what should be done concerning the stench from the waste that always ooze out from the hospital and spread across the road to a manhole nearby.

The Abuja Municipal Area Council which is adjudged to be the richest council in the territory too is less concerned about the state of the hospital but would rather prefer to impose heavy permit on businesses and other private organizations without pity.

Notably, the administration is neither deterred by the health hazards that this poses to the public nor the security threat to lives and properties by criminals lurking in the hospital.

While the Nation continues to battle with her various and numerous challenges, the healthcare of her citizens still remain the most important for other sector to thrive on and should not be left in shambles like that of the Utako District Hospital, Abuja.

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