Governor Bassey Otu has ordered the Cross River State Department of Medical Services to investigate the appropriation and expenditure for the ongoing construction of the general hospitals in Effraya-Etung and Akpabuyo LGAs, respectively.
He also frowned at the poor handling of construction and renovations at other hospitals in the state, saying such was “a flagrant negation of bidding and contractual obligations.”
The governor spoke through the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Henry Egbe Ayuk, when he embarked on an inspection tour of the now abandoned referral hospital in Effraya, Etung Local Government Area of the state.
Ayuk expressed dismay at the handling of a contract of such magnitude through direct labour rather than using a reputable engineering establishment.
He said: “Government frowns at the extent of work done here. The work done here is less than 30 per cent.”
Ayuk also questioned the project handlers’ decision to leave the Ministry of Health out of the supervisory role it ought to play in the execution of the project.
He, however, assured of the administration’s commitment to reinvigorating health services in local government areas that have hitherto been underserved, with a major focus on Akpabuyo, Bakassi, Etung, Boki, and Ikom LGAs.
He also expressed the government’s resolve to complete all ongoing health projects to lend impetus to his ‘People First’ agenda, especially in the health sector.
The state’s Director of Medical Services, Dr Stephen Agbor, explained that the Ministry of Health had all along been in the dark regarding the ongoing construction of hospital projects in the State.
Reacting, Site Engineer Innocent Tateh insisted that things were handled based on direct labour and that work was dictated by ‘superior authority.’