President Muhammadu Buhari has again assured Nigerians that he will make all the necessary efforts to ensure the best for the country and its citizens during his second term in office, starting on May 29, 2019.
The president who made this comment while receiving the Board of Trustees and Advisory Council of Gidauniyar Jihar Katsina (Katsina State Development Fund) led by Justice Mamman Nasir at the State House, Abuja, also thanked those who voted for him during the election.
In a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, President Buhari said his campaign visit to all states of the federation was an eye opener to him.
"Thank you for supporting me. I assure you that I will do my best during the second term. We will work for Nigeria and her people," he told the delegation.
The president said the crowd that welcomed his campaign train in each state was more than anyone can possibly induce, which he attributed the people's appreciation of the efforts of his administration.
President Buhari noted that he was the chairman of the Katsina State Development Fund for 17 years, during which a lot was done to support education, healthcare and agriculture in the state, especially for the less privileged.
In his remarks, the Galadima of Katsina, Justice Nasir, said the foundation was grateful to God and Nigerians for giving President Buhari the opportunity to serve another term in office.
"We are most grateful to Almighty Allah for bringing you back for another term in office. Our happiness and gratitude go to Nigerians for electing you," he said, adding that the foundation also remains grateful for the years the president served as its chairman.
... Reverts State House Hospital To Clinic
Meanwhile, President Buhari has directed that the State House Medical Centre (SHMC) be reverted to a clinic to serve the original purpose of its establishment.
Permanent Secretary, State House, Mr Jalal Arabi, made the announcement yesterday in Abuja when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs for the 2019 budget defence.
He disclosed that "without prejudice to what is currently obtainable at SHMC, the intention to revert to a clinic is a presidential directive. This is to make sure that the facility is functional and serves the purpose for which it was established, ab initio."
Arabi explained to journalists after the budget defence that the reversion of the medical centre to a clinic was a case of "cutting one's coat according to one's cloth."
"It was initially meant to serve the first and second families and those working within and around the Villa.
"The overstretching of facilities at the Medical Centre by patients is some of the challenges the Centre has been going through. It wasn't meant for that purpose.
"Nobody was charging anyone for any services, and relying on appropriation means we will depend on subvention when it comes to running the Centre.
"Whatever comes is what you utilise and if the last patient comes in to take the last drugs based on the last budgetary release, that is it, and we have to wait till another release is done.
"But this new development means that services will be streamlined to a clinic that will serve those that it was meant to serve when it was conceived," the permanent secretary said.
LEADERSHIP reports that the Medical Centre was a focal point during the two-hour presentation and budget defence by the permanent secretary before the Senate Committee.
Arabi disclosed that the Centre had a total budget of N1.03 billion in the 2018 appropriation, with N698 million as capital expenditure and N331.7 million as overhead cost.
The total overhead expenditure released for the Centre from January-December 2018 was N331.7 million, representing 99.9 per cent while the capital releases on projects amounted to N231.9 million, representing 33.2 per cent.
In his remarks, the chairman of the committee, Sen. Danjuma La'ah (PDP, Kaduna South) welcomed the proposal to make the SHMC fully functional and ensure that members of the first and second families use the facilities at the clinic.
Senator La'ah gave assurance that committee would support full funding for the Clinic, just as he commended the 2018 budget performance at the State House compared to previous years, despite revenue challenges.
"Considering the strategic importance of State House, they are not supposed to lack funds and we will keep encouraging them to utilize releases effectively," he said.
The State House 2019 budget proposal of N14.3 billion is slightly lower than the 2018 Appropriation of 15.47 billion by 7.1 per cent.