Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State has suspended the entire employees at the General Hospital, in Ngala town, Ngala Local Government Area of the state.
The suspended employees included all paid resident medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and lab technicians.
Zulum handed them the suspension after his unscheduled visit to the hospital on Monday where he found that the staff, had despite receiving government salaries, abandoned the hospital to an International non-governmental Organization, fhi360, which was managing hundreds of patients, majority of them, IDPs and residents.
A statement posted on Wednesday on the governor’s official facebook page, said “Ngala town is the headquarter of Ngala local government area in central part of Borno state. The border town is within an international land route into Cameroon, Chad, Sudan and Central Africa.
“Liberated from Boko Haram’s control in 2015, Ngala is currently populated by thousands of returnees, many of whom are internally displaced persons (IDPs), forced to flee their villages and farmlands in the wake of attacks by boko haram. A good number of other residents are indigenes of the town.”
According to the statement, Zulum had in his usual 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 reality of healthcare delivery to citizens.
The statement continued “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 was in fact received on arrival, by a field coordinator of fhi360, the iNGO left in control of the hospital.”
The statement further noted that he was saddened by what he saw and as a result, ordered the suspension of all staff on the payroll of the state government.
The governor 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” Zulum said.
Furthermore, the statement said Zulum inspected three schools in Ngala in preparation for the resumption of academic activities, adding that after the assessment, ordered the rehabilitation of classes destroyed by insurgents in all the three schools.
The affected schools, the statement said included: 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 rehabilitation of the schools so students can resume classes” he 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 quality of work must never be compromised local content” Zulum directed.
Before leaving Ngala, the Borno governor announced plans to resettle IDPs back to Logumani and Gajibo, two neighbouring communities in Ngala and Dikwa Local Government Areas respectively.
He disclosed this 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.