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Center for Advocacy Transparency and Accountability Initiative (CATAI) Declares Gongulang Health Facility An emergency Case

Urge Borno Govt., BOSHA to Intervene to Save Lives of 30,000 Rural Dwellers
By Sadiq Abubakar, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri
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Center for Advocacy Transparency and Accountability Initiative (CATAI), a non governmental Organization whose mission is to enhance service delivery and empower citizens. The Centre who embarks on Outreach advocacy for Institutional reforms, capacity biulding and empowerment of citizens has called on the Borno State Government as a matter of great importance to come to the aid of over 30,000 helpless residents of Gongulang community to complete an abandoned 3 years old health project.

It also urged Borno State House of Assembly to set up an Ad hoc Committee that will follow up the funds being budgeted annually by th governement from the beginning to the end of the year for the sake of accountability and transparency.

CATAI Chief Executive Officer, Muazu Abubakar Sadiq at it's Docmentrary Screening of Gongulang Healthcare Facility held at Hall Mark, Maiduguri in Partnership with MacArthur (MF) Foundation and Center for Information, Technology and Development ( CITAD) Wednesday added that the issue of accountability should be the focal point of the organization not putting blames on any authority or person involved in the contract award and Implementation process rather to fix the problems identified by doing the needful.

CATAI was further applauded for initiating the programme and urged to extend same to other sectors of the state especially projects that are presently abandoned or dilapidated so that funds could be allocated and released for such projects in the state annual budgets.

Participants and moderators at the round table panel at th documentary screening of Gongulang community healthcare facility also frowned at the laxity and discripancy in the entire health facility project in Gongulang community of Jere LGA of Borno state where it was observed that the said abandone Health Project was awarded in March)April 2018 and Incorporated in the budget but to date, the project is yet to becompleted.

Although, the representative of the Borno State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Aliyu Kwaya Bura and Borno State House of Assembly, Chairman House Committee in Accounts and Appropriations, Malam Bakura claimed the house was aware of the abandoned project through oversight functions and ensured funds were always available for it in the budget.

However, the house further claimed that security challenges and displacement of the over 39,000 residents of the community to adjoining famous community of Zabbamari and surrounding communities affected the project.

The House also said it has established a threefold committee of CSOs, Media and House on state budgets allocations and implementations apart from the existing House Committee on Public Accounts which is directly responsible to account for ongoing and completed or abandoned projects budgeted annually by the State government.

Earlier in a documentary screening video of Healthcare Facility in Gongulang community presentation, CATAI media team revealed the existing situation, voices and faces of residents and community leaders of Gongulang community for review by the 25 invited participants/stakeholders to assess and comment on possible solution to the health insurance facility problem.

The Ministry of Health has claimed that it's priority was the completion of ongoing and abandoned healhcare projects across the state at every Budget Defence sitting at the house whenever they are invited, pointing out that all statistics and records are available and presently forwarded to the State Commissioner for onward submission to th Govenror for appropriate action .

But CATAI had observed that the health Facility has not been completed as there is no electricity at the existing local dispensary, no medical doctor, only two or three staff , no ambulance, no staff quarters, no water supply system, no kitchen, no laboratory, no functional equipments, no drugs, structures dilapidated and the entire premises either isolated or abandoned.

It further explained that about N5.8 billion has been budgeted for the health sector while the State Ministry of Health has been the one handling the contract awards and as well, the supervising Ministry.

The Ministry claimed that about N105 billion has been released for the project and contracts are awarded for upgrading of the health Facility in Gongulang community but only N33 million was released for the project to date which made CATAI to declare Gongulang community Situation an Emergency case for prompt government attention and to alleviate the suffering of the people of the area.

CATAI noted that in view of cases of emergencies, lack of functional and effective standard available healthcare facility, adequate medical and health staff, ambulances, staff quarters, working tools and equipments, electricity, water sources among others, Gongulang community healthcare facility has been declared an emergency.