Na­tional Hospital sealed over N7m garbage debt

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Ojoma Akor & Judd-Leonard Okafor

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.

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