The site for the construction of a 300-bed ultra-modern Specialist Hospital in the New Millennium City, Kaduna, which was awarded since 2009 has become a habitat for weeds, Daily Trust reports. The project was initiated during the tenure of former governor Namadi Sambo’s administration and was partly funded with a loan from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) with the support of the Kaduna State government, Daily Trust reports. Namadi’s successor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, was said to have shopped for the IDB loan to provide the needed facilities for the hospital and other developmental projects in the state.
The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) had in 2014 approved a loan of $141 million to the Kaduna State government for infrastructural development. Yero’s spokesman, Malam Ahmed Maiyaki, was quoted then as saying that the loan was to be used for the provision of “critical infrastructure in Health, Education and Water Supply sectors.” Daily Trust gathered that out of the amount, the sum of $43.13million was earmarked for the provision of modern equipment at the 300-bed space Specialist Hospital at the Millennium City.
Aside from putting an end to Nigerians traveling out of the country on medical tourism, the state government had explained that the medical facility was conceived to provide the best of medicare comparable to the ones in other countries. While signing the loan agreement with officials of the IDB in April 2014, former governor Yero reportedly said: “We have promised the people that we are going to complete all on-going projects in the state and I want to assure the people that we have not abandoned any project and we remain committed to completing them based on the availability of funds.”
Our checks show that the contract was initially awarded to Nahman Construction, a Lagos-based firm at an undisclosed sum but while the structural work on the hospital was almost completed, the complex was abandoned as the contractors left the site. The hospital was initially scheduled for completion in 2012, but was delayed and rescheduled for completion in 2014, due to the inability of the state government to take delivery of some state-of-the-art equipment.
Following contractual setbacks, it was said to have been re-awarded to Terraina Construction (Nigeria) Limited for completion and the contractor promised to complete in nine months. The hospital was designed to have a fertility clinic, a Cath Lab, physiotherapy ward, Renal Dialysis Centre and Oncology Centre. It was also expected to have an Intensive Care Unit, High Care Unit and an Operating Theatre. In addition, it was conceived to have an Orthopaedic Ward, Maternity Ward, Medical Ward, accident and emergency ward.
Checks have, however, shown that 10 years after the project was conceived and awarded the hospital is yet to be completed despite promises by previous governors in the state to do so. After a tour of the facility by the then Kaduna State Commissioner of Planning and Budget, Muhammad Sani Abdullahi, accompanied by his then Health counterpart Dr. Paul Dogo in February 2017, the planning and budget commission posted on its twitter handle that: “Governor Nasir el-Rufai is committed to completing this inherited project for the overriding benefit of the good people of Kaduna State.
Contractors handling this project have been remobilized to the site with work on-going. Governor El-Rufai is committed to completing it before 2019.” Our correspondent who visited the site recently reports that the place has been overtaken by thick grasses even as no construction work is taking place at the site. Not even security guards were present at the entrance of the building as at the time of the visit. It was observed that the walls of the hospital were already suffering from lack of maintenance while part of the roof was giving way.
Locals who live within the Chikun vicinity of the Millennium City, where it is sited, have taken advantage of the non-completion of the project to engage in farming activities as they plant maize and other crops within the premises of the abandoned project, Daily Trust observed.