This might give you some headache: the
clinic at Nigeria’s seat of power does not
have the commonest of medications,
paracetamol, TheCable has learnt.
And cotton wool? The patient has to buy
from outside. Syringes? Not available. X-
ray? Sorry, the machine is out of order.
Ambulance? Well, if the patient can buy
This is the sorry story of the State House
Medical Centre, better known as “Aso Villa
Clinic” — for which over N3 billion was
budgeted in 2016 and N331 million in 2017.
The facility was established to cater to the
medical needs of the president, the vice
president, their families and presidential
aides. It is supposed to be the first port of
call in the case of a health emergency
According to information on the state
house website, the medical centre is also a
training facility for house officers and
other medical personnel.
The centre functions through specialised
departments: peadiatrics, lab medicine,
medicine, and obstetric and gyneacology.
President Muhammadu Buhari is currently
in the UK where he is receiving medical
treatment for an undisclosed ailment.
The BBC listed him as one of the African
presidents who have “apparent lack of faith
in the health systems at home”.
Despite the inadequacies, TheCable
understands that patients still get good
consultations at Aso Villa Clinic.
RENOVATION WITHOUT MEDICATION
“Patients buy syringes and common drugs
like paracetamol are lacking. They are also
required to fuel an ambulance in the case
of an emergency,” an outpatient said.
“Patients admitted in the clinic buy all
prescribed drugs from outside the facility.
And in all the wards whether dental or
surgical they are required to get the
material for their treatment, even cotton
The management is currently renovating
some buildings and constructing a new
block at the facility, but patients have to go
to other hospitals if they want to have an
When called for comment, Femi Adesina,
presidential spokesman, referred TheCable
to Laolu Akande, media aide to the acting
president, but calls to his mobile line did
not go through.
Calls and text messages to the mobile line
of Jalal Arabi, the state house permanent
secretary, were also not replied.
‘CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE’
Defending the N3.219 billion earmarked for
the medical centre in the 2016 budget,
Arabi had told a senate committee that the
proposals included the completion of
ongoing work as well as procurement of
drugs and other medical equipment.
“The medical centre provides health care
treatment for the president and vice-
president, their families as well as
numerous civil servants working in the
state house and across the ministries,
departments and agencies of government
and of course, with due respect, including
parliamentarians and members of the
legislature in addition to other notable
dignitaries,” he said.
“Interestingly, Mr. Chairman, on a lighter
note, not only those that have been
captured here attend (the medical centre)
there are poor of the poorest that attend
because we receive reference from
Gwagwalada, Garki, Wuse hospitals.
“So, if they come, we attend to them and
interestingly too at no fee at all, we don’t
“The anticipated improvement of the
medical centre will propel it to serve as a
centre of excellence and also reduce
Centre of excellence? To the patients, that
may be a sickening description.