-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –From Mike SOGBOLA, Maiduguri:
Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum has suspended an entire paid staff of an hospital in the state for abandonment of duty post.
The governor, who paid an unscheduled visit to the hospital, General Hospital in Ngala, a town with border with Cameroon Republic, was to see that the resident medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and lab technicians, all on the payroll of the government were no where in sight.
The governor was furious that the entire staff despite receiving government salaries, abandoned the hospital to an International non-governmental organisation, fhi360, to manage the hundreds of patients, majority of them, IDPs and residents of Ngala.
Ngala, which also has border with Chad, links Nigeria by road with Sudan and Central Africa Republic.
Having been liberated from Boko Haram’s control in 2015, Ngala is currently populated by thousands of returnees, many of whom are internally displaced persons (IDPs) that were forced to flee their villages and farmlands in the wake of attacks by terrorist group.
Zulum who have taken to the style of paying surprise midnight and daytime visits to schools and hospitals, showed up at the General Hospital in Ngala, in order to find out the realities of healthcare delivery to residents.
The Governor was disappointed to find out that despite high turn out of patients, not one of the many government paid staff, from doctors down to clerical staff, was at the hospital at 11am.
Zulum, who was received on arrival at the hospital, by a field coordinator of fhi360, the iNGO left in control of the hospital, was saddened by what he found on ground, and immediately ordered the suspension of all staff on the payroll of Borno Government.
The governor, apparently annoyed, said: “This is a General Hospital belonging to Borno State Government, unfortunately there is no single state Government staff here to attend to all these patients, and we promptly pay all of them salaries.
“These humanitarian workers from the iNGO (fhi360) are supposed to complement the state Government staff but not to completely take over the Hospital. I am directing the Borno State Hospitals Management Board, if there is any staff on the payroll of this Hospital, to immediately suspend all the workers on government payroll. I will be back to this hospital, hoping to see the opposite of what I saw today.”
The governor also took time out to inspect three schools in Ngala in preparation for the resumption of academic activities.
Zulum, after the assessment, ordered the rehabilitation of classes destroyed by insurgents in all the three schools.
The affected schools include; Government Day Secondary, Gamboru, Gamboru Central Junior Secondary and Primary School and Central Primary School, Gamboru.
He said: “These schools are not habitable. I will direct the ministry of education to put all measures in place for rehabilitation of the schools so students can resume classes.”
He however directed that local producers and dealers of building materials should be patronized.
He said: “I learnt we have block sellers in this town. Let’s patronize them to encourage local content, but I warn that quality of work must never be compromised local content.”
Before leaving Ngala back to Maiduguri, the state capital, the governor announced plans to resettle IDPs back to Logumani and Gajibo, two neighbouring communities in Ngala and Dikwa Local Government Areas respectively.
He made this known while addressing a cross section of elders from the two communities when he hosted them at the premises of the Local Government Secretariat in Ngala.