Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State

COVID-19: Why Oyo Government insists it spent N118m to support UCH

*Queries ‘artificial distinction’ created between UCH and College of Medicine, University of Ibadan

*Attempts to create thin line between them are ‘self-serving, artificial and contemptuous’ ─Commissioner

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

Clarifying the reported discrepancies in the total amount of tax payers’ money spent on all forms of support for the management of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the tertiary health institution, the Oyo State Government Wednesday, June 24 insisted that it supported the University College Hospital (UCH), in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, with N118 million in curbing the virus.

Recall that Mr. Akinola Ojo, Oyo State Commissioner for Finance, Tuesday gave a breakdown of the state’s expenses on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Agency report says the state government disclosed that it had provided support to UCH and the Department of Virology located inside the hospital to the tune of N118million.

University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan

However, the Management of the University College Hospital refuted the state government’s claim, saying it collected no such sum of money.

Mr. Taiwo Adisa, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, in a statement Wednesday, June 24, nevertheless insisted that the N118 million was expended in meeting the varied needs of the Department of Virology, College of Medicine and UCH.

According to the statement, Ojo said that attempts by the Management of UCH to disown the Department of Virology, a teaching and research department in the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, and which provides Clinical Services to UCH, are “self-serving, artificial and contemptuous.”

“The state government is of the view that attempts to create thin lines between the Department of Virology, College of Medicine, which provides Clinical Services to the UCH and operates from the same premises as the hospital, amount to being clever by half.

“Staffers of the department hold identity cards of the UCH and that of the University of Ibadan, even as the department remains the only one that undertakes virology-related assignments for the UCH,” the Commissioner for Finance stressed in the statement.

Among other medical supplies to UCH, according to Ojo, included 500 each of goggles, protective gowns and face shields; 250 each of full protective, head covers and shoe covers and 200 hand gloves, amounting to N2 million, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state government also provided a revolving fund to the tune of N5 million to UCH for treatment of residents of the state who tested positive for COVID-19.

The commissioner added that the amount was being “topped” each time the hospital spent up to N4 million on the patients.

The Commissioner said: “Based on a shopping list specifically prepared and presented to the state government by the Chief Medical Director of the UCH, Prof. Jesse Otegbayo, the state government has procured medical supplies to the tune of N25 million for delivery to the hospital.

“That the supplier is just about to deliver the said items is an evidence of the protocols related to movement schedules of all items within the environment of a global pandemic.”

Ojo clarified in the statement, that the supplies included goggles, PPE gowns and boots, adding that the total amount spent in directly supporting UCH, “based on the artificial distinction” so far stood at N32 million.

The balance of N86 million, he added, constituted what had been spent to support the Department of Virology, a direct partner with the state on the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said some of the items provided to support the Virology Department included PPE, SARSCoV-2 testing kits and extraction kits for COVID-19.

Others forms of support were wet lease of the testing machine for COVID-19, medical supplies and consumables as well as payment of allowances for the staff of the Virology Department, he stated.

Ojo said: “In order to clarify the referenced N118 million support, it is important to first of all state that we were made aware of a distinction between the University College Hospital (UCH) and the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan.

“Oyo State Government has provided support to both institutions during this COVID-19 pandemic.”

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