The Senate on Thursday urged the State House clinic to be fully functional in order to discourage President Muhammadu Buhari from seeking foreign medical attention.
The Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs gave the charge when the Permanent Secretary of the State House, Tijani Umar, defended his 2021 budget estimates before the panel.
Mr Umar had presented a total budget proposal of N19.7billion for the 2021 fiscal year, out of which N1.3billion was earmarked for the State House Clinic.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Danjuma La’ah, in his reaction said the panel would approve the budget for the State House Clinic but that the President and other top officials of his government should no longer be flown abroad for medical treatment.
Speaking with State House correspondents, Mr Umar said the State House administration would put necessary arrangements in place to meet the medical needs of the President and other top officials of the presidency once the budget was approved.
He said, “We have appealed to the committee to assist us with the presidential wing of the State House Clinic.
“The N1.3bn is absolutely inadequate when you juxtapose the amount proposed, the labour, and the status of the principals that the project is going to serve.
“When compared with worldwide standards you see that it is not anything near what we need.
“It (the clinic), is considered a legacy project for us because we want to leave something down.
“It is not correct to say the State House clinic is in comatose. It is not.”