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Headline Health News Nigeria Special Report

Investigation: N7.3bl shoddy jobs trail Osun 332 PHCs revitalisation project

PHC in Ido Osun in Egbedore LG. Poorly done toilets, floors, and borehole not functioning. Photo: Adenitan Akinola

In January 2019, Osun State Government received a $20 million grant from Federal Government-World Bank ‘Programme for Result’ PforR, a health intervention programme following the state’s success in the previous intervention project.

The programme supports the government’s existing “Save One Million Lives” (SOML) initiative by providing incentives based on the achievement of health outcomes and helping to drive the institutional process needed to achieve them.

In March 2019, during the launch of the programme, the state governor, Gboyega Oyetola, said the money would be used to rehabilitate six Secondary Health facilities and 332 Primary Health Centres (PHCs). These are spread across the state’s 30 local government areas (LGAs), with one per ward.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Rafiu Isamotu, noted that drugs worth over N200m would be provided for the PHCs as well as motorised boreholes.

However, over two years after receiving the fund, rehabilitation of 17 of the PHCs are yet to be completed, while most of those completed are already calling for attention due to poor, incomplete, and shoddy work.

In addition, according to World Bank report number RES45418, the project with Nigeria ended in January 2021.

Odeyinka Primary Health Centre

Mr Kazeem Abolade is a commercial motorcyclist operating at Ako Park in Ikire. He took Radio Nigeria correspondent to Odeyinka Primary Health Center, In Odeyinka Community of Irewole Local Government.

In the course of the 21 kilometres ride on his motorcycle to Odeyinka, he narrated how he almost lost his wife sometime in April during childbirth due to the absence of electricity in Odeyinka PHC.

Images 1 and 2 of PHC in Ido Osun in Egbedore LG. Poorly done toilets, floors, borehole not functioning. The borehole extension for community use was also not done by the contractor Rigomich Integrated com Ltd. Photo: Adenitan Akinola

Mr Abolade explained that, while one of the health workers managed to use the light of their mobile phone to illuminate the delivery ward, the other was devising means to contain the water from the leaking roof in the wake of the torrential downpour.

On getting to the health centre, one of the female health workers, who spoke under the condition of anonymity confirmed Abolade’s story as she took our reporter around the facility complaining about the shoddy execution by the contractor.

Images 1-4: PHC Odeyinka, Ayedaade LG awarded to Abisco Global Concept. The installed borehole not functioning, roofs leaking, toilet soakaway is crashing, and only 4 beds are functional. Photo: Adenitan Akinola

During the inspection of the facility awarded to Abisco Global Concept, it was observed that four locations were leaking from the roof. Furthermore, the newly sunk borehole was not functioning, the mosquito net was not properly fixed, no new ceiling fans, the two beds in the hospital had been acquired a year earlier under another programme, no utility room for staff on night duty, the toilet soakaway is already broken in two.

Moore primary health centre

This situation was not different at some of the completed PHCs visited, including Ago Owu, PHC Oke Elu, Wakajaye, Gbongan in Ayedaade Local Government awarded to Tera Peco Ventures, Moore PHC in Ife East, awarded to Teejay Genuine services, PHC Ibokun awarded to Dotfam Multi venture, PHC Ilase executed by Olas Salson Investment Ltd in Obokun Local Government and PHC Okinni, Ido Osun in Egbedore Local awarded to Rigomich Integrated com Ltd.

The renovation was done in Moore PHC in Ife East by Teejay Genuine services; however, no borehole was not installed.

At the Ido Osun PHC, a male health worker who took our reporter around the facility said they often drew the attention of the contractor to the shoddy job during the rehabilitation, leading to disagreement between them, until the contractor accused them of not wanting him to make a profit.

Moore PHC in Ife East LG renovated by Teejay Genuine services; however, the borehole was not installed. Photo: Adenitan Akinola

The toilet at Ido Osun PHC had collapsed, the flooring, doors, and windows were poorly fixed with substandard materials; even though the borehole had been installed, it is not working.

The staff stressed that they personally contributed money to purchase cement to fix the floor and some windows.

Some residents of the communities hosting the health centres told our correspondent that the renovation and reconstruction of the facility was a significant relief for them considering the number of years they had been abandoned.

However, they expressed concerns that some aspects of the newly repaired health centres were already falling apart.

Ido Osun primary health centre

At the Ido Osun PHC in Egbedore Local Government, a pregnant woman, who gave her name as Bashirat, complained of the damaged toilet available for patients visiting the place.

For a nursing mother at the Odeyinka health centre, Mrs Foluke Bolade, her worry was the leaking roof which she said had become a nightmare for patients whenever it rained.

Similarly, 17 of the PHCs listed in the government revitalisation project have not been touched as of the time of this investigation.

Some of those visited out of the 17 included Erin Oke PHC in Oriade Local Government, Okesa PHC, Egbedi PHC in Ilesa West LG, Ifon in Ifon/Orolu PHC, Iwo PHC in Iwo LG, and Ikire PHC in Irewole LG.

Notwithstanding their dilapidated state, the health centres are still operated by officials who told Radio Nigeria they were managing to provide services from what is available.

One of the residents of Erin Oke in Oriade Local Government, Mr John Akogun, urged the government to expedite action on the rehabilitation as residents, particularly children, and pregnant women, suffered more because the health centre is the only public medical facility in the community.

In an interview, the Coordinator of a Civil Society Organisation in Osun State, Virtues Unlimited, Restorative Justice, VURJ, Mr Wole Oladapo, alleged that the government only awarded the contracts on the basis of patronage, knowing fully well that the jobs would not be thoroughly executed.

Mr Oladapo said from the private assessment the CSO carried on some of the projects, it was clear that the execution fell below expectations and what was required to make the health centres functional, durable, and meet the needs of the people.

In September, our reporter met with the Osun State Commissioner for Works and Transportation, Engineer Remi Omowaye, who said letters of contract award for the remaining 17 health centres had been issued to the contractors who should move to the site any moment.

Osun State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr Remi Omowaye.Photo: Adenitan Akinola

Engineer Omowaye explained that the delay was deliberate as the government was taking its time to ensure that a thorough job was done and assured that the job would be completed between two to three months.

On whether the government was aware that many of those completed were poorly done, the commissioner said there were two committees set up to monitor the project, adding that the jobs are observed for six months after completion before retention were paid.

The Commissioner for Health, Doctor Rafiu Isamotu, said the project was carried in line with the terms of the SOML grant.

Contract awarded to small and medium scale contractors

Similarly, the General Manager of the State Public Procurement Agency, Mr Adegboyega Bello, told Radio Nigeria that projects and contract for the revitalisation of the primary health centre were awarded to small and medium scale contractors and were thoroughly supervised.

General Manager, Osun State Public Procurement Agency, Mr Adegboyega Bello.

He said part of the measures adopted to ensure good jobs were executed included payment of the contractors in three tranches and retention of 5% of the total sum until six months after the jobs were certified okay.

If the claim of the General Manager of Osun Public Procurement Agency on the quality of Jobs done is anything to go by, the question then is why have some of the hospital facilities gone bad in less than one year after rehabilitation?

Though available documents obtained from government offices in the course of the investigation only revealed the names of the contracting companies and projects assigned to them, their addresses and cost of the projects were not given, neither were they indicated on the signposts the contractors erected at sites of the projects.

The Ido-Osun PHC in Egbedore Local Government was rehabilitated by the Rigomich Integrated company. Google map gave the address as located on Aminu Kano Crescent in Wuse II, Abuja. When an email was sent to its Director, Mr Irigo Michael Eniola at rigomich2007@gmail.com, he declined to comment on the state of the shoddy work but directed the reporter to the consultant.

An online database of companies registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission shows that  Rigomich Integrated Company Ltd, the contractor that handled the Ido Osun PHC rehabilitation company which was established in 2007 currently has an unknown status while its activities is unspecified as against the provision of the Company and Allied Matters Act, 2020.

The directors of the company who are of the same family have their names as Irigo Michael Eniola, Irigo Oluwatoyin, and Tolulope Irigo as the Secretary, with its office at Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja.

When an email was sent to its leading Director, Mr Irigo Michael Eniola at rigomich2007@gmail.com, he declined to comment on the state of the shoddy job but asked this meet with the reporter to the consultant.

Similarly, Abisco Global concept that got the Odeyinka PHC, registered in 2011 as a private Unlimited company, has its office at number 49, Alegongo Complex, off Adebayo Alao Akala  Road, Ibadan, Oyo state, but its status on through the online database of companies registered CAC reads unknown, while its activity is unspecified; no phone number or email address can be found on the dashboard.

The names of its Directors are given as Oyegbade Akintunde and Oyegbade Adebisi.

Also is Dotfam Multiventures Ltd, to which rehabilitation of Ibokun PHC in Obokun Local Government was awarded; according to the information on the Dashboard, the company has three Directors who share a similar surname with the Osun State APC chairman, Prince Gboyega Famodun.

The Directors, Adedotun Babajide Famodun, David Adekunle Famodun, Adedapo Adewale Famodun also has two of them as Directors of Dekfam Ltd, a company (registered in 2011) linked to the family of the Party Chairman and got a share of the moribund Fire stations to contract hurriedly awarded at the twilight of the administration of Minister of Inferior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola when he was Governor of Osun State between 2010 and 2018.

Dotfam, though registered in June year 2018 as a Private limited company, with activities in construction, its status is presently unknown, while its address at No 4b, Road 2 street, Okinini town is difficult to locate as Okinni is in Egbedore Local government, not Osogbo as indicated.

A message of inquiry sent by this reporter to the email of the company was not replied to.

For Teejay Genuine services that did the rehabilitation of Moore PHC in Ife East Local government, it was registered in 2006 with address at No 4, Social brothers building, Ilero central market, Ilero Oyo state, but its status and activity on its dashboard read unknown and unspecified.

It has Yusuf Tajudeen Bukola, Yusuf Luqman Adedayo, Yusuf Suliat Opeyemi, and Yusuf Rukayat Omolola as directors, while its phone number and email address are unknown.

The Ilase PHC in Obokun Local Government was awarded to Olas Salson Investment Ltd. The company which was registered in 2006 as a Public Unlimited Company has no specific activity and its current status is unknown. It has no contact email or telephone number while its address is given as number 1, SuleSalami Street Osogbo is difficult to trace.

A search through the online data gives Directors names as Sule Salami, Olalere Dayo Salami, and Muritala Adebayo.

Wakajaye PHC in Gbongan, Ayedaade Local Government was awarded to Tera Peco Ventures, but the name on the dashboard read Tera & Pico Ventures, located at No 56/58 Laito Street, Oke Iye area, Iwo, Osun State.

The company established in 2009 has no status and activities unknown, while the names of its Directors could not be ascertained through the online search.

All the companies investigated in this report have unknown status on the online database of companies registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. Most of them have no contact address or means of reaching them while others refused to comment on messages sent to their mail.

Osun is one of the top-performing states in the SOML project; however, the people want the government to take a second look at the rehabilitation of some of the Primary Health Centers and recall contractors handling some of the projects if the state must get sustainable value for the $20 million grant.

Investigation report conducted by Radio Nigeria’s Adenitan Akinola supported by John D and Catherine T, McArthur Foundation, and the International Center for Investigative Reporting; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino