The Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, has suspended all paid staff, including resident medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and lab technicians at the General Hospital in Ngala town, for abandoning patients.
The suspension came after Governor Zulum paid an unscheduled visit to the hospital on Monday at 11 am and discovered that the entire staff had abandoned the management of patients in the hospital to an International non-governmental Organization, fhi360.
Governor Zulum had in his usual style of paying surprise visits to schools and hospitals, showed up at the General Hospital in Ngala, in order to find out the realities of healthcare delivery to citizens.
Ngala is the headquarters of Ngala Local Government Area in the central part of Borno State. It is a border town within an international land route to Cameroon, Chad, Sudan and Central Africa.
Ngala was liberated from Boko haram control in 2015 and is currently populated by thousands of returnees, many of whom are internally displaced persons (IDPs) who were forced to flee their villages and farmlands in the wake of the Boko haram attacks.
A good number of other residents are indigenes of the town.
The Governor was disappointed to discover that despite the high turnout of patients at the General Hospital, not one of the many government-paid staff; from doctors to clerical staff, was at the hospital to attend to patients as at 11 am when he visited.
The Governor was instead received on arrival by a field coordinator of the NGO left in control of the hospital.
Consequently, saddened by the situation he met, the Governor ordered the suspension of all staff on the payroll of the Borno Government.
“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 the government payroll. I will be back to this hospital, hoping to see the opposite of what I saw today” Zulum said.
Rehabilitation of schools
In another development, Governor Zulum inspected three schools in Ngala preparatory to the resumption of academic activities.
After the assessment, Governor Zulum 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.
“These schools are not habitable. I will direct the ministry of education to put all measures in place for the rehabilitation of the schools so students can resume classes” Zulum said.
The Governor directed that local producers and dealers of building materials should be patronized.
“I learnt we have block sellers in this town. Let’s patronize them to encourage local content, but I warn that the quality of work must never be compromised local content” Zulum directed.
Before leaving Ngala, Governor Zulum announced plans to resettle IDPs back to Logumani and Gajibo, two neighbouring communities to Ngala and Dikwa Local Government Areas respectively.
Zulum 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 town.
Source: Voice of Nigeria