Despite spending N210 million on the three projects, two of them are either unutilised or lacking basic amenities.
More than a year after the commissioning of three healthcare facilities in Gombe State, two of the centres are either unutilised, or lacking basic supplies.
In 2018, N300 million was budgeted by the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, (ATBU) under the supervision of the Ministry of Health for the construction of the facilities. The projects were nominated by Fatima Binta Bello, a former member of the House of Representatives for Kaltungo/Shongom Federal Constituency as her constituency projects.
A breakdown of the facilities, located at the Primary Health Care Centre (PHCC), Filiya, Shongom local government, shows that N100 million was budgeted for the construction of a modern mortuary, another N100 million for the construction of a tuberculosis unit, and another N100 million for the construction of a laboratory.
According to Mrs Bello, N210 million was released for the project, which is 70 per cent of the amount budgeted for the project.
But despite the funds released for the project, when the mortuary was visited at the PHCC in Filiya, a predominantly Christian community, it was locked. A senior official of the hospital, who asked not to be named because he was not authorised to speak with the media, said the mortuary was just an ordinary building, which lacked the basic equipment to function as a mortuary.
“For the mortuary, fridges haven’t been provided yet. Therefore, the operation has not commenced. It is locked,” the official said.
When this reporter asked to see inside the mortuary, the official said the keys were with a security guard who no longer works at the hospital.
“The security man is with the key. And he is not around. He retired in May, so he returns in the evenings voluntarily.” he added.
The district head of Filiya, Shuaibu Ibrahim, said the mortuary is needed in the community because of the large Christian population there.