You Must Account For All The Funds Released For This Agency, HoR C’mittee Tells Director ICOH Africa Jos, Dr. Sani Balarabe.

The House of Representatives Committee on Specialty Health Care has summoned the Director and Chief Executive Officer of Intercountry Centre for Oral Health (ICOH) for Africa, Jos, Dr. Sani Balarabe to appear before it and account for the funds released to the Agency over the years with nothing to show for it.
The Chairman of the Committee and member representing
Abi/Yakurr in the House of Representatives, Dr. Alex Egbona revealed this to journalists after visiting ICOH office situated at No:3 old Bukuru Road, Jos on oversight.

Dr. Alex Egbona Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Specialty Health Care

The Committee which was in Jos, the Plateau state capital to perform one of its legislative and constitutional mandate of oversight, took inspection of all the specialized hospitals, centres and schools in the city to assess the availability, adequacy and functionality of medical and training facilities, services, and personnel of these institutions.
It also measured the actual implementation of the 2023 Appropriations Act as approved by the National Assembly, detailed analysis of capital projects implementation and overhead releases, IGR and related expenditures within the period, Staff Nominal Roll and staff to student’s ratio.
Committee members were furious when it became obvious that the Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Centre was evasive with non of his subordinate on ground to receive the Hounorable members. It was obvious an impromptu arrangement was made and some junior officers were on hand to receive the Committee members. A development the Honourable members considered denigrating.
The Committee members were further provoked following what they saw, ranging from filthy environment, unhappy staff, jettisoning of federal character policy and lack of transparency and accountability as well as zero financial management.
Hon. Alex Mascot Ikwechegh representing Aba North and South federal constituency in the National Assembly described the Director as an unserious person and didn’t waste time in moving that the engagement be suspended. “Mr. Chairman, I moved for the adjustment of this sitting because it is evident that these fine gentlemen here don’t seem to have any information to give us so we can prepare our report and deliver to Mr. Speaker.
“So, with your kind permission, I will like to move that this particular engagement be adjourned”.
A plea by one, Dr. Ukachi Nwanuye who claimed to have represented the Director, Dr. Balarabe to entertained their submission was vehemently objected to by another member of the Committee who represents Keffi/Karu/Kokona Federal Constituency, Nasarawa State Hon. Gaza Jonathan Gbefwi.
Hon. Gbefwi held firmly that Dr. Nwanuye was not qualified to entertained questions from the committee since his presence at the meeting was not backed up by the law because he was not in any way qualified to sit-in for the Director since he was not the deputy director. “Whatever you say here cannot be taken as the position of the Agency”.

It is said that the National Assembly has appropriated almost Two Billion Naira to the Agency.

Dr. Ukachi Nwanufe Head of Clinical services ICOH for Africa Jos
However, one major issue which seemed to have pissed off Committee members is the decision of the Agency to embarked on some construction at the temporary site to the tune of Four Hundred and Twenty Million Naira while the multi billion naira structure at the permanent site along Fobur road remains uncompleted.
Speaking with journalists, Chairman, Committee on Specialty Health Care, Dr. Alex Egbona said, ” I am so disappointed with what I have seen. Firstly, there is no team work.
“Secondly, the workers are not happy, thirdly, the Director is evasive and fourthly, the environment is dirty.
“Imagine, you have a permanent site as large as this and you are still putting up structures at the old site. There must be something behind this.
“Intelligent report reaching us has it that the Director has not been in office in the last two months, he has not visited the centre and of course, this man who is taking us round as his assistant is not the next in command.
“He’s not even the third in command because of the manner the Director approach issues. So, we are going to ensure that this Agency moves to its permanent site.
“If they had channel the over four hundred million naira to the structure at the permanent site it could have been completed.
“Another issue is that the financial management of the Director is zero and so, we are inviting him to Abuja because there are so many things he has to explain such as, the issue of federal character because, this is a federal government Agency.

“Again, why the World Health Organization is not funding the Agency I believe is because of the fraudulent activities of the Director”, Dr. Alex Egbona said.
When asked of his feeling regarding the fact that the House of Representatives Committee was not impressed with the activity of the Agency, Dr. Ukachi Nwanufe, who is the Head of Clinical services, ICOH Africa Jos, and representative of the Director of the Agency, said, “Well you said that the committee is not happy but from the discussion that we had, it’s just a bit of miscommunication which we hope to address.

“By the time we are through, I think they would be able to really appreciate our position and why we took the decisions that we took to ensure that we advanced oral health research and training in the country and beyond the national boarders”.
When asked whether the Agency has judiciously spent funds released for its projects and other activities, Dr. Ukachi said, “It’s not in my place to say, it lies on the part of independent assessor to make such declaration. We have presented our position and we are open to scrutiny at whatever time”, he said.

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You Must Account For All The Funds Released For This Agency, HoR C’mittee Tells Director ICOH Africa Jos, Dr. Sani Balarabe.

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