Dr Jafaaru Momoh, the Chief Medical Director of the National Hospital, Abuja is an easy-going man, and publicity shy. Under his administration, the nation’s foremost hospital has been able to enjoy relative peace in terms of labour unrest. Not only that, the welfare of the staff has become one of the major priorities thus enhancing cordial relationship with the Hospital Board and the workers. For instance, one of the major issues the Hospital management tackled under him is stagnancy among staff. He has been able to effect promotions across board from junior, to middle and directorate cadre.
In a bid to ensure that the Hospital operated on a sounder footing, cut costs as well as prevent delay in treatment of patients, the Hospital began a process of complete computerization. The project is being handled top notch firm, Health in the Box from the Federal Ministry of Finance. Undoubtedly this process will curb pilfering and wastages and also enhance service delivery.
The Hospital’s primary purpose has also not suffered. Under his leadership, there has been tremendous increase in Internally Generated Revenue of the institution. The Hospital has also successfully opened a Trauma Centre as well as a Cancer Centre. Both of them are operating effectively now.
A major breakthrough witnessed in the life of the Momoh administration at the National Hospital was the separation of conjoined twins last year. This was in the news and it was a major feat that thrusted the hospital into limelight worldwide, with international news media focusing on the Hospital and giving them accolades over the feat.
Apart from this, they have also acquired new MRI and CT scan. These and many more cannot be wished away given the financial situation of the of the hospital as well as the environment in which it is working.
But then, some people are not satisfied with the progress Dr Momoh has recorded so far and they are hell bent on frustrating him or at least diverting his attention from his bid to place the hospital in its primary place as the country’s foremost hospital.
Our investigations reveal that these insiders, some of who are senior staff in the hospital desperately wants his job hence the need to discredit him hoping that this would ensure that his tenure was discredited despite the good work going on at the hospital.
Through our findings, we discovered that some of the people involved in the recent controversies surrounding Dr Momoh’s tenure were senior officers. Curiously it was shortly after he eased them out as heads of Departments that began their bad press in a bid to cast aspersions on his tenure.
In the said publication, they alleged that Momoh single-handedly increased the charges of the hospital without recourse to the Board. Our findings however revealed that nothing can be far from the truth as the hospital charges has not been changed. Indeed, investigations revealed that the Board had during one of its sittings mandated the CMD to come up with appropriate new charges. And this he did by appointing one of his Directors to work out the modalities and these were expected to be presented to the Board for approval before it could be implemented. According to our source, there is no way new charges will come into effect that patients and workers will not know so this is not true.
Again, they alleged that Momoh’s tenure had lapsed because he had attained retirement age. Unfortunately, they did not do peer comparison. If they had, they would have found that the tenures of heads of health institutions like the National Hospital were based not on their age but at the pleasure of the Federal Government and are tenured. That is why for instance, the heads of other Health institutions like LUTH and Federal Neuro Psychiatry Centre Yaba Lagos amongst others are still in office. The law establishing the National Hospital States categorically the conditions and terms of the appointment and its renewal. The main issue highlighted, in the Act, from what we saw is the fact that the candidate must have performed satisfactorily, which, undoubtedly, even the traducers of Dr Momoh cannot deny.
At a time when Nigeria is facing major challenges over containing Coronavirus, and the National Hospital is key to this, hosting one of the country’s Isolation Centres, one only hopes the rabble rousers will allow the Momoh –led management do his job. At this critical point in the life of the nation, when all hands should be on deck to fight the dreaded disease that is killing people all over the world in thousands, Nigeria’s foremost health institution must not be thrown into a leadership crisis based on the selfish ambition of a few. After all, the President, who should know better has given the Chief Medical Director a second term.