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Job loss: Reps move to save Garki Hospital’s staff

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The House of Representatives has called for urgent need to save over 900 medical officers from losing their jobs over the termination of Public Private-Partnership (PPP) concession agreement on Garki General Hospital, Abuja.

The move followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Benjamin Mzondu (PDP-Banue) on the floor of the House on Thursday in Abuja.

He noted that in 2007 the Federal Government through the Federal Capital Territory Executive Committee authorised the concessioning of Garki General Hospital, Abuja, on a PPP arrangement.

He said that it was given to a competent private healthcare provider on the basis of a PPP for a period of 15 years.

He recalled that the FCT Administration (FCTA) on March 1, 2022, gave the management of the hospital notice to vacate and hand over the facility by April 1, 2022.

This, according to him, followed the expiration of the concession agreement and PPP arrangement with NISA Premier Hospital.

He expressed worry that over 900 workers, including 21 Consultants, 113 Medical Doctors, 24 House Officers, 159 Nurses, 96 Patient Care Attendants, Pharmacists, Medical Record Officers, Laboratory Scientists and other technicians may lose their jobs.

According to him, the management of the hospital had written severally to the FCT administration for a review of the concession agreement without any response until March 1.

This he said, was when the FCT administration sent a letter terminating the concession agreement with NISA Premier Hospital with the intention to take over the facility and hand over to another concessionaire.

He said that the short notice of termination of the concession agreement and takeover of the facility by the FCT administration would also lead to the displacement of over 3,000 patients.

The patients, he said were faced with different health conditions and many highly sensitive expensive world-class medical equipment might be damaged.

According to him, much longer time is needed to be re-calibrated before removal and sudden termination notice which is not in tandem with PPP agreements, according to Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission Act.

He said that the one-month notice given the concessionaire to vacate the hospital premises might be inadequate and contrary to Article 2.2 of the Concession Agreement and Regulation 29 of the PPP Guidelines.

“The Act specifies that a transition Committee made up of parties to the Concession Agreement and the ICRC be constituted to wind down the agreement within a period of 36 months,” he said.

Contributing to the debate, Rep. Ahmed Wase, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representives, said that the issue was sensitive, adding that the mover of the motion gave us one sided story.

He said that the issue should rather be investigated so that all parties to the matter could be heard.

Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Soeaker of the House, said that they would not get involved in a contractual agreement, but added that what the mover is saying was that there was a breach of the law.

The House therefore called for full investigation into the matter, while urging FCTA to stay action on the termination of the concession agreement, pending the intervention of the Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, and Health Institutions.

The House also mandate the committee to liaise with the Concessionaire, the ICRC and the FCTA to resolve the issues for enhanced healthcare delivery in FCT.

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