Aisha Bala Abdulkadir, wife to Bauchi State Governor, through Al-Muhibbah Foundation, contracted Makkah Eye Specialist Hospital to render free eye care services to an estimated 400 people in the state. But the hospital among other not-too-good antecedents, has a record of evading tax, according to WikkiTimes’ investigation.
The hospital, a subsidiary of Saudi-based Albasar International Foundation, kept two distinct salary payment vouchers for its expatriate staff in its attempt to shield them from remitting their exact Pay As You Earned (PAYE) tax to Bauchi State Government. For six consecutive years, it short-changed the state government.
Not only that, it also steadily, over the years, skyrocketed its costs for consultancy and treatments by far, higher than other healthcare centres rendering the same services. According to the investigation, some foreign doctors in the hospital were hostile to patients. They reigned abusive words on them.
The investigation further revealed that the hospital has over the years embarked on systematic disengagement of at least 24 indigenous staff who either protested against bizarre inhumane conduct by some of the doctors. Some were disengaged for demanding salary increments among other things.
The investigation unveiled many inside realities of Makkah Eye Hospital as the Christian Blind Mission suspended its partnership with it. This angered the hospital management to drag WikkiTimes to court and demanded a billion naira in damages.
PARTNERING WITH TAX EVADER AND MORE
Despite its antecedents, Makkah Eye was contracted to render free medical outreach to 400 selected beneficiaries across the state. WikkiTimes learned that the programme has long commenced with beneficiaries from Toro, Bauchi and Kirfi local councils already covered.
The first lady’s foundation is also collaborating with Al-Basar International Foundation which is also partnering with Makka Eye to conduct free eye screening, free drugs and cataract surgery for over 400 people in the area.
In his remark, Dr Sabi’u Abdu Gwalabe, the commissioner of health in the state, represented by Dr Yusuf Robinson, said such outreach activities were paramount in enhancing the lives of less privileged and vulnerable individuals.
Gwalabe added that his ministry is ready to collaborate with the office of the state first lady to assist the efforts of the state government in eliminating diseases among the people of the state.
Dr Abdullahi Badamasi Muhammad, the chief medical officer of Makka Eye Hospital Bauchi while speaking on behalf of the members of Al-Basar International Foundation, said the organization is assisting about 1,200 people with eye problems annually.
He explained that with the help of Al-muhibba foundation, they conducted medical outreach to over 100 people in Alkaleri local council, and willing to refer other cases to their hospital in Bauchi for proper treatment. He also commended the first lady and called on others to emulate her
Efforts to get the scope of the intervention and inquire why the first lady chose Makkah Eye Hospital for the outreach were futile. Murjanatu Maidawa, spokesperson to the first lady declined to comment on the ground that she doesn’t know our reporter.