The State House Permanent Secretary, Jalal Arabi, has justified the allocation of N3.2 billion for capital projects at the State House clinic in the draft 2016 budget.
According to him, the money was intended to transform the clinic to a centre of excellence.
The proposal to spend a whopping N3.8 billion on the clinic, which is mainly used by the President, the Vice President, their families, personal staff and few privileged officials, has been roundly criticised by Nigerians.
It was discovered that the N3.2 billion allocated for capital project at the clinic was more than the combined allocations for capital projects in all teaching hospitals in the country. It is also more than the total allocation for the construction of hospitals across the country.
When asked why the State House Clinic got more money allocated to it than teaching hospitals for capital projects, Permanent Secretary Arabi said the huge vote to the medical centre was based on the presidency’s desire to turn the facility to a centre of excellence.
He spoke about 24 hours after Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, dissociated himself from the controversial allocation to the hospital, saying the State House Clinic is not under his purview.