PROCEEDINGS OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE OF TUESDAY, 21ST MAY, 2019

Ads

Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki led the Principal Officers into the chambers; took the official prayers; and began the day’s proceedings at 11:13am.

EXECUTIVE SESSION
Senate moved into an Executive Session at 11:14am and resumed from its Executive Session at 11:35am.

Like Our Facebook page

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki reported that at the Executive Session the Senate deliberated on the issues bordering on workings of the Nigerian Senate in particular and the National Assembly in general.

Senator Kabir Marafa moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Thursday, 16th May 2019. Senator Danjuma Laah seconded.‬

BRIEFING
Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan now moved that the Senate do receive the Honorable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole to brief the Senate on the current state of facilities and health care service in the teaching hospitals.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Senate now dissolved into the Committee of the Whole to receive the Honorable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“Distinguished Colleagues, we now have before us the Minister of Health and his team. Let me on behalf of the Senate welcome the Honourable Minister and your team to the Senate Chamber.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“The Honourable Minister’s invitation became necessary following a resolution on the 8th of May for the Honourable Minister to come and brief the Senate on the current state of facilities and health care services in the Nigerian Teaching Hospitals.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“We would give you the opportunity to take the floor to brief the Senate on the state of affairs of the Nigerian Teaching Hospitals. We are concerned with the deteriorating conditions of our hospital facilities across the country.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“Despite the annual budgetary allocation to the health sector, Nigerians are still dying because of obsolete equipment, the poor state of infrastructure, lack of a generating sets, lack of power, sometimes lack of diesel, lack of drugs etc which we are very concerned about.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“We will like to hear from you on what the true situation is, what solutions and measures you have to address the problem that is affecting the entire country and after that, we will take questions from my colleagues.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

Honorable Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole briefs the Senate on the current state of facilities and health care service in the teaching hospitals.

“We have 22 teaching hospitals in the country and 17 specialist hospitals under the direct body of the Federal Government. The teaching hospitals constitute the apex of health care in any country.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“For us in Nigeria, they represent the topmost and by design are expected to manage complex and complicated cases.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“For them to function effectively, they depend on functional primary and secondary health care centres. If these two levels of care are functional, about 90% of ailments will be taken care of. Only 10% of Nigerians who require care would need to go to tertiary institutions.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“Over the last couple of years, we have had a challenge. We can describe the health care as a pyramid with Primary Health Care at the base, Secondary at middle and Tertiary at the top.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“We can compare it to a building; primary health as the foundation, the secondary as the wall and the tertiary as the roof. The problem we have is that the foundation is bad and the wall is weak and we are only concerned about the roof.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“If we invest in the Primary Health Care, a lot of people would not have a cause to go to the Tertiary. Your Excellency, I must commend you for approving the Basic Health Care Provision Fund. It is a game changer. “- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“We spent two years developing, and over the last two weeks we’ve started to roll out. 22 of our states have registered for the Basic Health Care Provision Fund.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“Our aim is to structure it in a way that money would flow from the Central Bank to the agencies. As of today 14 states are yet to show interest in basic health care provision.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

READ ALSO  Udom's re-election: Apostolic Church declares statewide Thanksgiving March 31

“We have two (2) signatories to the account; the head of the community where it is located and the head of the facilities.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“Our aim is to offer free antenatal, free deliveries, screening for tuberculosis.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“I commend the Senate for the approval of the 1% primary Healthcare lnclusive in the Budget.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“Teaching hospitals cannot survive alone and in isolation. The State needs to partner with us so that secondary hospitals would be working.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“We believe that the issue of power supply should be looked into.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“You are using the word Game changer, I think the game changer is the 469 members of this National Assembly who in 2018 single handedly ensured the funding of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“If you go by the media reports, they called it padding, but it was the intervention that provided those funds that will make a difference in the Healthcare industry today. I thank you for acknowledging that.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“Let me use the opportunity to thank members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate who worked hard to ensure that this money is provided. I can not agree with you any less that this is what will ensure that Secondary and Tertiary Healthcare improves.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“I think the responsibility on your part is how the fund will be managed, although it took a long time, it is important to get it right to put the right structure in place that will ensure that the fund is properly spent. That responsibility continues to lie with the Ministry of Health to see that those funds are well managed at all levels because that is the key to ensure the success of Healthcare.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

Senators took turns to ask questions.

“Hon Minister let me thank you for the presentation. I will urge you to find a better way to talk to Governors to key in and access the funds for primary Healthcare.”- Senate leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan.

“What are the requirements for the state to key in?”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“Is there a way to exclude teaching hospitals, Secondary hospitals and primary hospitals from paying electricity bills? Would it improve the services of the hospitals?”- Senator Shehu Sani.

“What can be done about ‘brain drain’ amongst doctors and nurses which is affecting the efficiency of primary, secondary and tertiary hospital?”- Senator Gbenga Ashafa.

“Do we still have sanitary inspectors, if so are they allowed to carry out their duties and are the CMD’s allowed to act independently?”- Senator Francis Alimikhena.

“The area that worries me is that of the medical students who graduate from medical schools and have nowhere to do their houseman-ship. How do we make sure our medical students always get where to practice?”- Senator Sam Egwu.

“Can you explain to Nigerians how Lagos Teaching hospital independently had power without the interference of public power and how other states can tap into it.”- Senator Kabir Marafa

“Since assumption of office, what have you done on the N300m paid to the Federal Ministry of Health during the Jonathan regime.”- Senator Kabir Marafa.

“How can we equip our hospitals to the standard of hospitals that makes Nigerians travel out for treatment.”- Senator Victor Umeh.

“UCH used to be one of the best hospitals but now it is a caricature of what it used to be. Is there a programme where we bring our teaching hospitals to the standard it used to be so they can stand out?”- Senator Olusola Adeyeye.

Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole responded to questions asked by Senators.

“The states must have:
1. A State Primary Health Care Development Agency;
2. A State Health Insurance Scheme; and
3. A Counterpart Provision Act.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“By law, the National Council on Health is expected to meet once a year but we have met 3 times this year. The commissioners have also formed a forum and I’ve been meeting with them. Each time I meet a Governor on this list, I chip in a word. We using the Governors Forum to make a lot of noise about it and informing them of the benefits.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

READ ALSO  Nigerian disagree with Fani Kayode as he called on Rep members to vote for Femi Gbajabiamila for House speaker

“The percentage release ranges between 50 - 70% but ABU in the financial year that is going to end received the entire appropriated fund. I can say the same of Kano. Release of money is not the problem of ABU.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“With respect to uncompleted buildings, the challenge we have is the uncontrolled manner in which we are putting up health institutions. People will wake up, start a building and call it a health facility. If we are not brought into it and you complete it, it will not work. Health institutions are not easy to manage that is why the States are finding it difficult.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“My advice is to let us stop building new structures. At the last count, we had 30,000 places all over the country; what we want to do is make 10,000 work. If we have 10,000 working, we would reach 10,000 people in each ward which would be a 100 million people. That would be a major feat.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“Lagos State is starting a pilot programme where they would engage the private sector and we want to see how it works. Engaging the private sector is the way to go.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“There is an initiative of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing where Teaching hospitals are being linked to their institutions. We are confident that if we can do solar, the power consumption will go down.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“Our teaching hospitals are not lacking trained personnel. Where we have problems is with the States. The solution is for the States to engage people.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“I did not say that the money was well spent because I am not an auditor. But let me say that the request for the upgrade of General Hospitals, Specialist Hospitals and Federal Medical Centres is one that is currently receiving attention.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“My fear is, if we are not careful, the FG would take over all health care infrastructure in Nigeria. The States should do something - a state should have a tertiary hospital and a general hospital in each local government.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“The CMD’s are independent. They are managed by their board. The Minister cannot interfere in the day to day activities of the teaching hospitals, that is the Law. The Minister is empowered to give general directives. They get funded directly from Ministry of Finance.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“We recognise the housemanship problem. The lifespan of the provisional license is two years. If after two years they do not get placement it will lapse. That is why we started central placement. We have 4,500 spaces and we produce about 4,000 house doctors every year. I’ve made a plea that if anyone of them has a problem with placement, they should contact us with the provision that they are not asking for placement in Lagos or Abuja.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

“On Sanitary Inspectors, it is not our mandate as the Federal Government.”- Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole.

Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.

“Distinguish Honourable Minister, in closing, I think there has to be a better way to work with the states because at the end of the day our responsibility is healthcare to all Nigerians. I believe that the mechanism in which all states key in this Basic Healthcare Provision Fund must be looked into.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“We must look at the budgetary releases as well — we have talked a lot about Primary healthcare being a problem and so it increases the burden on secondary and tertiary healthcare. That does not run away from the fact that we must also look at whether budgetary releases to fund our tertiary institutions are being done properly. We must make it a priority.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“You gave a good example of ABU — but I do not know if that is a reflection of the entire teaching hospitals and special hospitals. We need to look at that and see how we can improve budgetary releases for those hospitals.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

READ ALSO  Kanye West makes a public apology to Kim Kardashian

“Clearly, it is a concern for all of us but I am sure if we get the foundation right, the burden will be less on the teaching hospitals and medical centres. We must ensure that we have adequate releases to these hospitals so that the basic needs are addressed.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“It is important to see how you can work with the States also, to see how they can all benefit from the Healthcare Fund.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“I am sure that you should be able to pay for some of the resources in providing teachers or doctors at those levels in order to cater for them.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

PRESENTATION OF BILLS- First Reading
1. University of Maiduguri Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 1107) by Senator Ahmad Lawan.

University of Maiduguri Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 1107) was read the First Time.

  1. Obafemi Awolowo University (Transitional Provisions) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1111) by Senator Ahmad Lawan.

Obafemi Awolowo University (Transitional Provisions) Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (HB. 1111) was read the First Time.

  1. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 1113) by Senator Ahmad Lawan.

Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi Act (Amendment) Bill, 2019 (HB. 1113) was read the First Time.

  1. Nigeria Road Safety Commission Bill, 2019 (HB. 1328) by Senator Ahmad Lawan.

Nigeria Road Safety Commission Bill, 2019 (HB. 1328) was read the First Time.

PRESENTATION AND CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS
1. Conference Committee Report on the Conditions of Service for National Assembly Staff by Senator Emmanuel Paulker.

Senator Gbenga Ashafa seconded that the Senate do receive and consider the Conference Committee report on the Conditions of Service for National Assembly Staff.

Senator Emmanuel Paulker laid and presented the report.

The report was Approved.

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki said the implementation of the recommendations of the report is effective from today.

  1. Report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service on the Theatre Arts Professionals Regulatory Council (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 681) by Senator Emmanuel Paulker.

Senator Ibrahim Gobir seconded that the Senate do consider the report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service on the Theatre Arts Professionals Regulatory Council (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 681).

Senator Emmanuel Paulker laid and presented the report.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for the clause by clause consideration of the Theatre Arts Professionals Regulatory Council (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 681).

Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.

Theatre Arts Professionals Regulatory Council (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2019 (SB. 681) was read the THIRD time and PASSED.

  1. Conference Committee Report on the Nigeria Postal Services Act Cap N127 LFN 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB.437) by Senator Gilbert Nnaji.

Senator Babajide Omoworare seconded that the Senate do consider the Conference Committee Report on the Nigeria Postal Services Act Cap N127 LFN 2004 (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill, 2019 (SB.437).

Senator Gilbert Nnaji laid and presented the report.

The report was Approved.

  1. Report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND on the City University of Technology Kaduna, Bill 2019 (SB. 360) by Senator Barau Jibrin.

Senator Gilbert Nnaji seconded that the Senate do receive and consider the report of the Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND on the City University of Technology Kaduna, Bill 2019 (SB. 360).

Senator Barau Jibrin laid and presented the report.

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Senate dissolved into the Committee of the Whole for the clause by clause consideration of the City University of Technology Kaduna, Bill 2019 (SB. 360).

Senate reverted to plenary and reported progress.

City University of Technology Kaduna, Bill 2019 (SB. 360) was read the THIRD time and PASSED.

‪ADJOURNMENT‬
Senate Leader moved that all items on the order paper be stood down to another legislative day. Minority Leader seconded.

Plenary is adjourned to Wednesday, 22nd May, 2019.
#GavelBangs

Signed:
New Media Department,
Office of the President of the Senate,
Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Want To Support Us By Donating Click Here

UPDATES: DON'T FORGET TO DOWNLOAD OUR APP BELOW

vote
Article Rating

ads

Stories You May find Interesting

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments