Akwa Ibom State government on Monday attributed the shortage of medical personnel in the state on the large pool of ghost workers it inherited from the previous administrations in the state. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong, stated this on Monday while reacting to a PUNCH publication in an exclusive interview with our correspondent in Uyo, the state capital.
He said when the administration came in, the nominal role of medical personnel was very high, yet there were complaints of shortage of staff, adding that the situation necessitated government to set up a panel of inquiry into the matter. According to Ukpong, the panel which was chaired by him discovered a mind-boggling revelation, adding that one person was receiving salaries of five persons in the state.
He said, “One, we found out that the number of staff on payroll was not correct. There were a lot of ghost workers most of whom were medical personnel that blew up the wage bill beyond what any government could handle. And to be able to prove this, we had to get them to do a biometric.
“When one person earns the salaries of five persons, by the time you multiply the number of staff, you will know what it means.” The Commissioner said the withdrawal of accreditation for the training of nurses before the administration came on board affected shortage of nurses in the state. Also in response to the report, the Oluyole Diamond Sisters, UK on Monday visited Adeoyo Maternity Teaching Hospital, Yemetu, Ibadan and donated two suction machines to aid patients with breathing related issues.
The delegation comprising its founding president, Alhaja Rafata Opowu, incumbent president, Alhaja Okeyode Bello; secretary, Alhaja Ramat Ojetola and financial secretary, Alhaja Khadijat Adeoye said they received the disturbing report in the UK.
Opowu who spoke on behalf of the sisters, expressed serious worry on the state of Nigeria’s hospitals, and appealed to the government to be more alive to its responsibilities of saving lives.
The president of the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, Chief Yemi Soladoye commended the Diamond Sisters for the donation of the equipment which also included two pieces of double chamber suctioning machines; 3.5KVA generator; seven pieces of paediatric beds and mattresses and three pieces of drip stands.
The hospital chief consultant, Dr Soji Adeyanju commended the sisters for the support, just as he lauded CCII for its purposeful leadership in turning around the fortunes of the city.