Stakeholders raise concern over closure of Bayelsa Diagnostic Centre

…equipment allegedly stolen

Yenagoa—When former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Friday 16 February 2018, commissioned the Bayelsa Diagnostic Center, it elicited cheers from Bayelsans since the state has been lacking a world-class diagnostic facility.

Upon its commissioning, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) deal was said to have been entered with Oyesis Global Network Nigeria Ltd for the operation and management of the facility.

A Bayelsan who craved anonymity in a chat with our reporter recalled that the diagnostic center was functioning until May 2020, three months after Senator Douye Diri succeeded Senator Seriake Dickson as governor because the government allegedly declined to fulfill its part of the partnership agreement.

“That this facility which the former administration managed and kept functional such that people from all over the country found it reliable and a favourable alternative to travelling overseas, is now being left to rot.

“Till date, there are rumours of the centre being vandalized and pieces of equipment allegedly carted away. Let the commissioner for health whose oversight encapsulates this facility, present documentary facts of these allegations.

“Why haven’t the consultant operators been invited for interrogation,” the source asked.

Bearing his thoughts on the development, foremost environmental activist, Comrade Alagoa Morris in an interview with a reporter expressed concern that since its creation, no PPP arrangement has favoured the state.

According to him, “this goes to show that some Bayelsans are bringing in these partners to tie Bayelsa money down. They do the partnership in such a way that it will always be disadvantageous to Bayelsa State.

“They want to short-change and steal from the people of Bayelsa State and that is why the civil society and faith-based organizations should be involved when such partnerships are to be signed.”

Alagoa who called for an investigation into the rumored stealing of equipment from the facility urged the government to look at the inventory of equipment stocked in the facility to know how many have been stolen.

He urged the Bayelsa State House of Assembly to carry out proper oversight functions in unravelling the reasons behind the closure of the facility.

Alagoa also admonished Governor Diri to “take steps to adjust any agreement signed with the partners to make sure the facility functions as it ought to be.”

On his part, Dr. Tokpo Coronation, the Bayelsa State Organizing Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) berated the state government for allowing the facility to be shut down.

He argued that Diri has paid deaf ears to the hues and cries of Bayelsans about the facility on which billions of naira in state funds were spent.

His words, “I think the state of the art equipment in that facility has been carted away. Bayelsans are now being denied the opportunity to get top-notch diagnostic services.

“Shamefully, we have a government in the state which is too lily-livered to demand accountability for what has happened to the Bayelsa Diagnostics Centre.

“We are very unfortunate with leadership as a state. Mind you, the Diagnostics Centre is not the only project that has been abandoned just after a year or so of its use.

“The Bayelsa State Airport which gulped over 80 billion naira is currently being abandoned. Several internal roads within the state capital, Yenagoa were half done, others were only about 30 percent done by the previous administration and left to erode.”

Coronation also tasked Bayelsans to demand accountability from the state government for all the funds expended on projects.

All efforts to get the reaction of the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Health regarding the diagnostic center were futile as of the time of filing this report.

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