Nigerian News

Abia uncovers doctors still collecting salaries despite moving abroad

Governor Alex Otti of Abia says the state has uncovered on its payroll some doctors who left the state employment and migrated abroad to seek greener pastures.

He said the medical professionals are still collecting salaries from Abia despite leaving Nigeria and now working abroad.

The governor made this known on Thursday while speaking at the first Abia State Council on Health at the International Conference Centre, Umuahia.

This is also as Otti admitted that doctors’ emigration had impacted negatively on the state’s health sector.

Speaking on the ‘Japa’ trend with the theme “Providing an Accessible, Affordable and Quality Healthcare System for the New Abia”, Otti promised to tackle it by giving doctors a special welfare package from next year.

He said; “The ‘japa’ syndrome has indeed taken its toll on the health sector; however, this administration is not leaving any stone unturned in addressing this challenge. To this end, the government has resolved to motivate our health care workers through prompt payment of their wages and improvement of welfare packages that we will introduce from 2024.”

The governor further stated that government was strengthening primary health care and ensuring that health facilities were handled by personnel across the state.

“We are in the process of recruiting new skilled birth attendants to improve healthcare service delivery in the state. Furthermore, our ongoing digitalisation of the Abia State civil service has uncovered some staff that have left their duty post for greener pastures, yet still receive remuneration from the government.

“While the criminality involved in this is going to be addressed by the relevant agencies of government, the important thing here is that we do not have the number of hands that were hitherto reported. We are working hard to fill these gaps,” he added.

Minister of Health, represented by the Permanent Secretary of Abia State Ministry of Health, Dr Ifenyinwa Uma-Kalu, stressed the need for state governments to support the Federal Government by providing the necessary infrastructure in the health care system.