By Segun Awofadeji
In its efforts to enhance primary healthcare services in the state, the Bauchi State Government has assured volunteers working in the state Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) across the state of its commitment to absorb them permanently as health workers.
The state Governor, Bala Mohammed, who gave the assurance at the Urban Maternity Health Care Centre in Azare yesterday in continuation of the ongoing inspection of projects across the state, said very soon, the state government would free resources and employ the volunteers.
He noted that upgrading of primary healthcare centres in the state is an intervention where the state government has used its counterpart funding to meet the health needs of the state, particularly for women and children.
The governor said under the primary health care development agency, the state government is expending more than N1 billion monthly, but many of the permanent health staff do not turn up for work while the real workers are the volunteers.
According to him, “I am very happy with the volunteers here because of the work you are doing, but where are the permanent workers? It is because of manipulations that we cannot get it right. So I urge you to continue to exercise patience, very soon, we will ensure that you are fully employed.
“We are going to free resources and are going to employ those that will be employed, and when we are not going to employ friends of political associates. We will put the plan that you are going to compete for the available vacancies. Very soon, we want to normalise your salaries because we are eager to remove ghost workers from our system as some people are innocently suffering.”
He added: “You can see that under the deputy governor of the state, we are doing so much to make sure that we form a committee under him to ensure that within one month, all these issues of salaries of workers are done.”
Earlier in his address, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Aliyu Maigoro, said the Urban Maternity Centre is one of the PHC per ward that the government promised to renovate, adding that the Nigeria State Health Investment Project (NSHIP) renovated 150 PHCs of the 323 wards in the state, EU-UNICEF renovated 107 PHCs, other donor partners renovated 10 PHCs while the state government has awarded the contract for the upgrading and construction of 15 PHCs in the state.