The State House, Abuja, has planned to spend N1.37 billion in 2021 to construct a Presidential wing at the State House Medical Centre, where President Muhammadu Buhari and subsequent presidents can receive medical treatments.
The State House in its budget for the medical centre also planned to purchase medical equipment worth over N237 million for the hospital.
Sources told SaharaReporters that much of the funds budgeted for the clinic over the years might have been embezzled, as the medical centre remained in a pathetic situation and the President would not risk being treated in the facility for his undisclosed ailment.
According to the 2021 appropriation for the State House Clinic, the construction of the Presidential wing at the State House Clinic would gulp N1,374,416,876.
The State House did not give a breakdown of how such humongous money would be expended to build the wing.
The budget reads, “ERGP16132281 – construction of presidential wing at the State House Medical Centre – N1,374,416,489; 22020307 drugs and medical supplies, N208,350,424; uniforms and other clothings, N14,250,663; purchase of health and medical equipment, N231,969,277; Completion of the dental wing and outstanding liabilities on reclamation and earth filling – N123,726,387.”
Despite the huge budgets enjoyed by the State House Medical Centre which most government and private hospitals lack, President Muhammadu Buhari has a growing list of medical trips during his administration with the most recent being between March 30 and April 17, 2021.
Muhammadu Buhari has spent over 193 days on medical leave in the United Kingdom since he assumed office in 2015, according to findings by SaharaReporters.
Between February 5, 2016 and February 10, 2016: Buhari took a six-day vacation to the United Kingdom, saying that his doctors lived in England.
Also, between June 6 and June 19, 2016, Buhari spent nearly two weeks in Britain where he had treatment for an ear infection.
He reportedly flew to London on June 6 to see an ear, nose and throat specialist after two doctors in Nigeria recommended further evaluation “as a precaution”, his team said.
He extended his trip by three days to rest.
Between January 19 to March 10, 2017: Buhari went to London again on a medical vacation on January 19. He wrote the National Assembly on February 5 seeking extension of his London medical leave. The president didn’t return until March 10 but didn’t resume work immediately at Aso Villa. The Presidency said “he’s working from home.” Buhari spent a total of 51 days outside the country.
Then on May 7, 2017, Buhari embarked on a trip to London for another medical vacation. He returned after 104 days on August 19 but could not resume work because rats had reportedly damaged furniture in his office.
The Presidency announced he would be working from home.
On May 8, 2018, Buhari went to London for a four-day “medical review.” The president returned on May 11, 2018.
Then on April 25 to May 5, 2019, the president again embarked on a 10-day private visit to the United Kingdom.
Also, on March 30 to April 6 2021, the president embarked on another trip for a routine medical check-up in London. He is to return on April 6 tentatively.
In 2019, the president embarked on a 10-day private trip to the UK suspected to be for medical reasons.
In 2020, the president could not make his trip due to the coronavirus pandemic which caused a halt in flight operations.