National Hospital sealed over N7m garbage debt
The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) yesterday sealed and later reopened the National Hospital, Abuja over its inability to pay N7.5m debt for waste disposal services rendered by the organization.
The hospital was reopened about two hours after it was sealed and services resumed normally.
It was sealed following an order by a Federal Capital Territory Magistrate’s Court.
The AEPB Task Force for debt recovery placed its seal on the hospital wall and shut its gates early yesterday.
Speaking after executing the court order, the chairman, Ministerial Task Team on the recovery of the money owed AEPB, Baba Shehu Lawan, said the court had earlier issued three different summons to the Chief Medical Director of the hospital to appear before it, but he failed.
According to him, the Chief Magistrate’s Court II presided over by Mrs. Chinyere E. Nwecheonwu on June 22, 2016 ordered the sealing and subsequently adjourned the case to July 13 for hearing.
Spokesman of the hospital, Abuja, Dr Tayo Haastrup, said the hospital had the money to pay AEPB for services rendered and was not owing the organization any money.
He said the hospital had paid the said amount but the problem arose because AEPB was not on the Treasury Single Account System (TSA) so what they were paying kept bouncing back.
He said after the sealing, the management went to AEPB to show evidence of payment and the organisation unsealed the place.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the FCT minister, Muhammad Hazat Sule, confirmed the reopening of the hospital after payment of the debt.