Mr. Osagie Ehanire, Nigeria’s Minister of Health in a shocking example of administrative rascality has commissioned an uncompleted hospital in Edo State.
Mr. Osagie who served as a Minister of Health under the administration of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, the former Nigeria president on the 19th day of December 2022 commissioned an uncompleted Children’s Emergency Unit in Irrua Specialist Hospital at Edo State.
In pictures shown, Mr. Rufai Oseni, a journalist exposed how the project is below 60% completion with doors, windows, floor, wiring, plumbing, and many fittings yet to be done on the building.
It is unclear how a Minister of Health went ahead and commissioned such an uncompleted project with his name boldly inscribed on it.
Standard practice is to have the hospital completed and put to use before it will be commissioned and money paid to the contractor. However, Mr. Osagie’s action shows that the contractor may likely be certified and paid for a job not completed and delivered.
Osagie is not an exception, in Nigeria, government officials have a predominant character of commissioning uncompleted projects with impunity. And when this happens, the contractor handling the project is paid and in a highly corrupt practice the project is certified as completed and monies diverted.
In our project monitoring, we have observed across the Nigerian state, there is a huge number of abandoned projects that have been certified as completed and monies paid to the contractors as having been delivered on them.
This action by Mr. Osagie is one of the practices that have helped undermined Nigeria’s development. And often, monies set aside for projects are simply shared among government officials and the contractor, and the project is abandoned. Under this practice, government officials certify all documents and pay off the contractor, while the intended beneficiaries continue to suffer.
A senior government official at the Irrua Specialist Hospital who spoke to MAWA Foundation and wants his identity concealed described Mr. Osagie’s action as the worst form of administration corruption. According to him, it is a high manifestation of corruption backed with impunity for a minister of health to have commissioned an uncompleted project.
The official, however, asked that the Minister should be probed and charged to court and prosecuted for what he called brazen corruption that is not acceptable.
“We were surprised to see the minister commission this uncompleted project in this act of brazen corruption, he must be probed and charged to court, this impunity must not be allowed to stand,” the official told MAWA.