The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC), has called for the expansion and increased funding for the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar.
Mr Ibrahim Dauda, Director Internal Audit of the Commission said this on Monday in Calabar when he led a team from the commission on an inspection tour of project undertaken by the 104 years old hospital for the 2015/16 fiscal year.
“Having gone round some projects, I can say that we are satisfied with what is on ground but there are still more to be done.
“This hospital was established in 1903, by the then colonial administration.
“It needs urgent expansion, and I believe that the only way this hospital can fulfill its mandate is for it to have increased funding.
“From what we see here, this hospital needs expansion through proper funding to enable it meet the needs of the people of Cross River and surrounding states including those from the Republic of Cameroun,” he said.
He said that the hospital lacked facilities to run as a full psychiatric hospital due to poor funding.
According to him, the team was in the hospital as part of its statutory mandate of ensuring transparency and accountability in government owned institutions in the South-South geopolitical zone.
Dauda said that the team also inspected some projects carried out by the hospital management in the 2015/16 fiscal year, which includes a completed administrative block, a completed laboratory and six wards.
He urged the management of the hospital to ensure prudence and accountability in the award of contracts.
Speaking, Dr Joseph Okegbe, Medical Director of the hospital, said that everything has been done to upgrade the hospital to the required standard.
He said that the neglect of the hospital had led to its present state, adding that if given the required funding the management was ready to take the hospital to a new level.
“Our challenges are funding. We are working towards completing our multi-million naira hostel accommodation which has just gone about 30 per cent.
“We are also trying to begin work on the 22-hectare permanent site project, which perimeter fence has been completed and work was yet to start.
“We have been putting these projects repeatedly in our budget estimates every year, especially the students’ hostel.
“Funding has been our problem; this hospital has been abandoned. It needs expansion. I know that the economy is not favourable but I am appealing to the government to do more.
“If I have the proper funding that I need, this hospital will be a centre of excellence,” he said.
According to him, the project design for the permanent site was already completed as well as a gate house.