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Minister Warns Board Members Against Corruption

Stories by James Anaana

 

Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole,  has said that the present government has zero tolerance for corruption and this must not be compromised by the newly inaugurated Governing Boards of Parastatals, Agencies and Institutions under the Federal Ministry of Health with the mandate to give policy direction to the management of the Institutions.

Speaking recently at the inauguration ceremony, Adewole said the agencies were critical to the achievement of developmental goals of Government, being implementing entities of the Health Sector.

The minister said the federal government would frown and punish any corrupt practice perpetrated by any board member as well as the Management team of such agencies and institutions.

“The roles you are being called upon to play revolve around setting the standards for control and discipline which are the core elements required for any positive change to take place. Your appointments should be seen as an opportunity to make useful and selfless contributions toward uplifting healthcare service delivery in Nigeria.

“Except where expressly stated statute, Board appointments are part time. Management of your Agencies and Hospitals should therefore be allowed to perform the day to day running of these organizations without hindrance. Your allowances and entitlements as board members are guided by extant circulars that will be distributed to you in due course please acquaint yourselves with the circulars for proper guidance.

“The principles of change, good governance and accountability in the affairs of health institutions must be adhered to. These essentially require adherence to extant laws, Circulars, and regulations. For emphases, I commend this to you as a useful tool towards achieving the change we all yearn for in the health sector.

“It is your responsibility as chairman and members of Boards to bring about this desired change in the short term. As such, for health institutions to have the desired impact on the lives of our citizens, they must be of the right quality, skill mix and right attitude to service delivery.

“It is the expectation of this administration that each Governing Board will put measures in place that will strengthen the resource base of your Agencies and Institutions, increase internally generated revenue and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the use of these resources in line with Financial Regulations. Procurement and Contracts are not your functions, as you are advised to keep strictly to the provisions of the procurement Act 2007, as provided by the Bureau of Public procurement.

In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Health, Mr. Clement Uwaifo, urged the Board Members to ensure that Healthcare delivery was patient focused and patient driven.

He also emphasized the need to strictly compliance with Financial Regulations, Public Service Rules, Public Procurement Act and extant laws and Circulars that guide financial transactions, ethics and conduct in the Public Service.

Responding on behalf of the Boards, the Chairman of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Lagos, Alh. Salim Bello said that their call to service would reverse the negative trend of medical tourism and ensure that accountability and transparency was entrenched in their various institutions.

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