Garki hospital concession: 703 NISA staff, 42,627 NHIS FHIS enrolees’ fate uncertain, FCTA wants agreement terminated in one month

The fate of over 700 staffers  and some 42, 627 National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the Federal Health Insurance Scheme(FHIS) of NISA Premier Hospital  among several others, may be hanging in the balance as the Federal Capital Territory  Administration served a notice to terminate the concession agreement on the expiry date of 31st March, 2022 and also take custody of Garki Hospital from 1st April, 2022.

The termination is coming 15 months after the agreement by the two parties, documents at our disposal have revealed.  

A breakdown of the NISA staffers showed  633 full staff members;  with some additional staffers such as  security men ( 54); NYSC (16); SIWES/IT (10); Locum/Contract staff (16); visiting consultants( 37) dental unit( 4); physiotherapy unit( 6); maintenance unit(12) and cleaning affairs(56)m among several others.

“We have 34,925 NHIS and 7,702 FHIS enrollees accessing health care in the Hospital. 

This number far exceeds the combined number of NHIS enrollees for Asokoro Hospital (14,892), Maitama Hospital (12,251), and Wuse Hospital (7,005),” Blueprint gathered.

FCTA letter

The letter dated March1, 2022  and addressed to the M/S  Nisa Premier Ltd reads: “Take notice that at the expiration of the above mentioned agreement, the FCT Administration (FCTA) intends to terminate the Concession agreement on the expiry date of 31s( March, 2022 and also take custody of Garki Hospital with effect from 1stApril, 2022. 2. “The decision to terminate the Concession will no doubt afford the FCTA the opportunity of providing affordable medical care to the residents of Garki District of the Federal Capital Territory.

“Our records revealed that you have the following outstanding fees to settle: variable Concession fee — N123,912,507.60 (One Hundred and Twenty Three million, Nine Hundred and Twelve Thousand, Five Hundred and Seven Naira, Sixty kobo), Concession fee — N5,000,000.00 (Five million Naira) and rent fee —N3,000,000.00 (Three million Naira).

“We hereby demand from you a total sum of N131,912,507.60 (One Hundred and Thirty One million, Nine hundred and Twelve Thousand, Five Hundred and Seven Naira Sixty kobo) being your total outstanding fees and request you to remit same to us immediately.

“You are therefore advised to take steps towards vacating the Hospital premises and handover the Hospital assets and equipment pursuant to clauses 7.8 and 19.6 of the Concession agreement latest by ls! April, 2022.”

But in a letter of reply addressed to the FCT Minister Muhammad Bello, dated March. 10, 2022, the hospital said: “There are a number of issues brought out by the letter of termination that will need to be  addressed  and resolved dispassionately and collaboratively  in the light of the above  and the value of the PPP for healthcare management.

“We believe a committee involving  the FCTA(grantor, Nisa Premier Hospital (concessionaire), and ICRC(regulator) working  collaboratively to ensure a smooth transition and hand-over of the hospital in the best interest of all stakeholders  keeping in view the lessons of his globally acclaimed successful PPP in healthcare.

“The Honorable Minister may wish to rcall our earlier letters dated 10th July, 2017, 26th May, 2019 and 1st February, 2020 on the concession agreement. The response to these letters  either positively or negatively would have given Nisa Premier Ltd adequate notice for either reneweal or termination. We believe the one-month notice given to vacate given to vacate the hospital premises is inadequate.

“It is apposite to state that Article 2.2 of the concession agreement clearly stipulates  that the agreement should be construed in line with the “applicable laws and applicable permits.”  Regulation  29 of the guidelines  on PPP which was  made pursuant  to the ICRC Act states that a transition committee  made up of parties  to a concession agreement and the ICRC should be constituted  to wind down the agreement within a period of 36 months.”

However,  Nisa said, “we consider that a transition period of 12 months  will be adequate”  to address  all necessary issues such as those involving its over 3,000 patients receiving antiretroviral medications will require suitable arrangements to ensure that they continue to receive lifesaving medications without interruptions,”

It also raised the issue of “several staff on postgraduate residency training as well as house officers, , pharmacy  and nursing interns at various stages of their training.

In line with Section 7.7 of Concession  agreement,  we are to move our Assets from teh premises, among them are highly sensitive medical  and ICT equipment  that will need to be secured  and carefully moved to ensure  they are not damaged,” the hospital further pleaded. On the debt, NISA said “there are discrepancies between the amounts  stated  in the letter and the amount in outtr records. Our record show that to date we have made a total payment of N406,514,229.40.

“These payments have been made against the backdrop of not receiving any subvention  from the FCTA  to run the hospital. We use this opportunity to request a joint committee of the two parties to work together to reconcile these figures.”   

ICRC issues quit notice  

But pursuant to the FCTA’s letter, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) wrote Nisa to prepare to comply with the notice served by the FCTA.

It said: “The management of NISA should Premier Hospital should kindly prepare to   comply with  the provision of Regulation 29 of the ICRC PPP Regulations 2014  and any other contractual terms  listed in the Concession Agreement at the expiration of the contract…”

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