Sola Shittu, Gombe
Gombe state Governor, Inuwa Yahaya Thursday approved the immediate suspension of salaries of 135 Primary Health Care Development Agency, PHCDA staff including 20 doctors who failed to physically appear for verification exercise.
Yahaya who gave the order while receiving the report of the verification exercise committee at the Government House, Gombe also directed that all PHC staff with non-relevant qualifications be transferred out of the agency and payroll to other departments where their qualifications are needed within their respective local government areas.
Salaries of 20 medical doctors who were on the government’s payroll but were not at their duty posts for a very long time and in some instances for years were also suspended by the governor.
The Verification Exercise Committee headed by the state Head of Civil Service, Alhaji Bappayo Yahaya was mandated by the Governor to ascertain the precise number of the staff on the payroll of the PHCDA as well as determine the gap in human resources to enable government plan for staff recruitment, training, welfare and resource allocation for improved healthcare services.
After weeks of the committee’s engagement, the report revealed that about 4,304 primary health care staff were verified across the state out of which 135 personnel were found to be absent.
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Yahaya on Media, Ismaila Misilli said the governor gave the directive after studied the document submitted by the committee.
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“The Governor directed immediate suspension of the salaries of all PHC staff who failed to physically appear before the verification committee.
“He also directed that all PHC staff with non-relevant qualifications be transferred out of the agency and payroll to other departments where their qualifications are needed within their respective local government areas.”
The state Governor also directed the agency and its governing council to ensure that issues of PHC staff with pending promotions across the 11 LGAs are immediately addressed,” he said.
On the twenty affected doctors, he said the state ministry of health has confirmed that though the 20 medical doctors were on the government’s payroll, but were not at their duty posts for a very long time and in some instances for years.
“The ministry said while the salaries of the said absentee medical doctors have so far been suspended, a panel will be set up to investigate the matter with a view to probing the root cause of their absence from duty and those found wanting will be prosecuted and the salaries paid recovered,” he said.