The Ministry of Health has been unable to procure equipment and kit out laboratories effectively. This is affecting Nigeria’s preparation for a possible Coronavirus epidemic and portends a great danger.
Even though the FG has released N386m to scale up preparation to tackle the disease.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari’s insistence since October 2018 that the ministry’s powers to procure anything be transferred to the authority to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
This is a totally bizarre arrangement that goes against all known procurement rules. His excuse at the time was that the ministry spent above its allowance. It was said at the time that the ministry was found to have spent N7bn instead of N2bn that it was legally allowed.
This has created a massive bottleneck and the absurd arrangement means that the ministry of Health will approve their purchases while the ministry of Agriculture will do the actual purchasing and release funds.
One ministry official wondered if it would not be better for them to have stripped them of the powers and given it to the ministry of finance instead.
An opposition politician Magnus Omoniboro said attributed this to the usual nepotism and ethnic bigotry of the current administration and wonders why this is only been done to a ministry that was overseen by southerners. In October 2018 the ministry was manned by Professor Isaac Adewole and is now been headed by two southerners, Dr Osagie Ehanire and Dr Olorunibe Mamora.