The Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Mr. Olajide Idris, has confirmed an exclusive report by SaharaReporters that the Helipad constructed at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) has failed to function two years after its inauguration.
The Commissioner, who was speaking at the 2018 Ministerial Press briefing of the Ministry of Health, also accepted that failure to get approval from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was part of the "lapses" responsible for inability to put the Helipad to use.
He, however, said he is currently discussing with the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH on ways to begin to put the Helipad to use.
He said: "That's true, I think what happened was an issue of miscommunication which we are currently addressing because I'm discussing with the CMD of LASUTH. We are also discussing with Caverton Helicopter the people who are supposed to manage it. I think it is a lapse I admit but we are addressing that issue."
Saharareporters had in the exclusive report stated that the Helipad, inaugurated on 11, August 2016, had remained non-functional two years.
SaharaReporters also discovered that the delayed use of the facility was also due to failure to get the necessary approvals from the NCAA, the only body with powers to approve use of any facility for aviation service in Nigeria.
While confirming that the Lagos State government failed to follow the processes necessary to get approval for the use of the facility, NCAA spokesman told Saharareporters: "For approval for any aircraft, the owner, from inception, would have applied to the NCAA, which will monitor and offer advice.
"The most important determinant of approval is the owner. There are other things that we want them to correct to get approval. I am telling you that NCAA cannot just turn down a request. The onus is on the owner. Should they even have commissioned at a time that it was not ready?"