Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya Thursday approved the immediate suspension of salaries of 135 Primary Health Care Development Agency staff of the PHCDA, including 20 doctors who have not been physically present for the verification exercise.
Yahaya, who gave the order while receiving a report from the Government House Verification Exercise Committee, also directed Gombe to transfer all PHC staff with non-relevant qualifications from the Agency and payroll to other departments where their qualifications are needed within their respective local government areas.
Salaries of 20 medical doctors who have been on the government payroll but have not been in their service for a very long time, and in some cases for years, have also been 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 determine the exact number of employees on the payroll of the PHCDA, as well as the human resources gap to allow the Government’s recruitment, training, welfare and resource allocation plan for improved health services.
After weeks of involvement of the Committee, the study reported that approximately 4,304 primary health care employees had been checked across the country, out of which 135 were found to be absent.
Ismaila Misilli, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Yahaya on Media, said the governor gave the directive after reviewing the document submitted by the committee.
“The Governor ordered the immediate suspension of salaries of all PHC employees who did not appear before the verification committee.
“It also recommended that all PHC workers with non-relevant qualifications be transferred from the Agency to other departments where their qualifications are required within their respective local government areas.”
The State Governor also ordered the Agency and its Board of Directors to ensure that issues of PHC employees with pending promotions through 11 LGAs are resolved immediately, “he said.
Among the twenty doctors affected, he said that the State Ministry of Health reported that while the 20 medical doctors had been on the government payroll, they had not been on duty for a very long time and, in some cases, for years.
“The Ministry said that while the salaries of those absentee physicians have so far been suspended, a panel will be set up to investigate the matter with a view to finding the root cause of their absence from duty and those found missing will be punished and the salaries paid will be recovered,” he said.