N3.8bn of N4.5bn allegedly paid into illegally operated accounts

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, on Tuesday, mandated the Committees on Health and the FCT to investigate the alleged mismanagement and embezzlement of N4.5 billion meant for the American Hospital and the American University of Medical Sciences projects in Nigeria.

His charge followed the House’s resolution to probe all transactions relating to the projects and determine the veracity or otherwise of the allegations.

The motion for the resolution was moved by Rep. Kingsley Chinda (PDP- Rivers), who said that N3.8 billion out of the N4.5 billion approved by the Federal Government for the establishment of the American Hospital and Medical Sciences for Nigeria had been mismanaged.

The funds were approved by the Federal Government to ensure the provision of high quality health care, with emphasis on the training of medical doctors and other health personnel.

According to Chinda, in 2005 the Federal Government entered into a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with an American health firm, AFAM Comprehensive Healthcare Group of New York, resulting in the latter’s development of a health plan for Nigeria.

The plan was later submitted to President Goodluck Jonathan, who approved a waiver of N4.5 billion on interests and penalties for the proposed hospital and university to be sited on Airport Road, Abuja.

Chinda said that however, bank accounts were illegally opened and operated by “certain persons” without recourse to the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), one of the parties to the PPP agreement.

The two committees are expected to submit their report within four weeks.

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