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Health minister warns boards against undue interference in agencies

By Asma’u Ahmad

The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has warned chairmen and members of governing boards against undue interference in agencies and institutions they have been appointed to oversee.

The minister gave the warning, while inaugurating governing boards of parastatals, agencies and institutions under the ministry in Abuja on Tuesday. He explained that the governing boards were creations of statutes, and their responsibilities were to give policy direction to the management of institutions.

According to him, board appointments are part time, and the management of agencies and hospitals should, therefore, be allowed to perform the day to day running of these organisations without hindrance.

Prof. Isaac Adewole

“Your allowances and entitlements as board members are guided by extant circulars that will be distributed to you in due course and please acquaint yourselves with the circulars for proper guidance.

“Procurement and contracts are not your functions as members or chairmen of governing boards. “I therefore, wish to emphasise that government expects no less from these boards that are inaugurated today, and agencies are critical to the achievement of developmental goals of government,’’ he said.

He added that being implementing entities of the health sector, they should be committed and ensure they live above board. Adewole urged them to see the appointments as an opportunity to make useful and selfless contributions toward uplifting healthcare service delivery in Nigeria.

According to him, for health institutions to have the desired impact on the lives of the citizens, they must be of the right quality, skills mix and right attitude to service delivery. “It is your responsibility as chairmen and members of the governing boards to bring about this desired change in the short term,’’ he said.

The minister noted that the principles of change, good governance and accountability in the affairs of health institutions must be adhered to and these essentially required adherence to extant laws, circulars, and regulations. He, however, urged the newly inaugurated members to shun corruption in line with the present administration’s zero tolerance for corruption.

Responding, the Chairman of University of Lagos Teaching Hospital, Alhaji Isa Bello-Sani thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for finding them worthy to serve the country. Bello-Sani assured that the boards would live up to expectations and lift the health sector in the country to amiable height.

Newsmen report that governing boards of Teaching Hospitals, Federal Medical Centres, National Orthopaedic Hospitals, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospitals, National Health Insurance Schemes and National Primary Health Care Development Agency were inaugurated.

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