FG, not Owing Resident Doctors-Ngige.

The Federal Government has said it does not owe resident doctors, stressing that only those illegally recruited by Chief Medical Directors, CMDs, were not being paid without the necessary approval.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, stated this yesterday, during a courtesy visit led by the chairman of the Federal Character Commission, FCC, Dr Muheeba Dankaka, and other federal commissioners.

According to him, “You people know the mandate for recruitment. The Federal Ministry involved will approve. The office of the Head of Service of the Federation will approve. Budget Office will approve. These three approvals come to you in Federal Character Commission for final acceptance and issuing of compliance letter. But in the case of these resident doctors, their letters were issued without any of these approvals.

“The CMDs who did that said they thought they could pay them through Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, GFMIS, platform, an ad hoc platform used for sundry expenses.

Personnel costs have been removed from GFMIS. That is the problem.
”Every payment for personnel costs is done under Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS. But, now, a waiver has been given. It will come to you in the FCC to provide a compliance certificate.
“We explained to them that it is not a one bus stop thing. It cannot be done in one day. They said no, we are going on strike. You go on strike to force the government to regularize an irregularity. It is not done.

“Ngige disclosed that the request for compliance letter would be sent to the FCC by the Federal Ministry of Health before the end of the week and urged the commission to give the request expeditious attention.

The Minister lamented that some states pay foreign doctors more than their Nigerian counterparts, not encouraging national unity and loyalty. He urged Federal Character Commission, FCC to use its constitutional power to promote national unity and commitment, rather than concentrate efforts only on the public sector, especially in job recruitment.

He also requested that the commission ensure equitable distribution of amenities, infrastructure and social services in the country.

“The constitution did not say that you do only cases in the public sector. There are areas we need you to look into, especially where the shape is silent.

“We have cases where doctors are employed from Egypt, Cuba and Pakistan, and they are paid five times what the Nigerian doctor will get if you convert the foreign exchange they use to deliver them.

“But in this country, I was here when some of my teachers left from South East to go and teach in the North East at a time. They left because we had enough down there to export to our brothers. They were paid with our local currency and given some other incentives, which made the economy of those states alright at the end of the day.

“Whether you like it or not, if some people are poor in Nigeria in the poverty index rating, when the Nigerian poverty index is being taken, it will be an aggregate, including those places. If it is health, when the health parameters are being taken, it is for the whole. So, FCC can go into that area,” the Minister said.

He added that the commission should persuade state governments to open up and advertise those jobs to give Nigerians the opportunity to come from any part of the country to fill the gap.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *