Payroll Scandal as Abia Discovers 'Japa' Doctors Still Receiving Salaries    - The Top Society

Payroll Scandal as Abia Discovers ‘Japa’ Doctors Still Receiving Salaries   


Governor Alex Otti of Abia State disclosed that his government has uncovered a significant anomaly in its payroll, revealing that some doctors who had migrated abroad in pursuit of better opportunities were still drawing salaries from the state.

The governor made this revelation during his address at the inaugural Abia State Council on Health held at the International Conference Centre, Umuahia.

Governor Otti expressed concern over the negative impact of doctors’ emigration on the state’s health sector. He pointed out the need to address this issue promptly and announced plans to implement a special welfare package for doctors starting from the next fiscal year. The governor pledged to take decisive actions to curb such practices and ensure that public resources are utilized judiciously.

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.” 

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During the council meeting themed “Providing an Accessible, Affordable, and Quality Healthcare System for the New Abia,” Otti outlined his administration’s commitment to fortifying the health sector. He affirmed plans to recruit additional health workers to strengthen the healthcare workforce in the state, emphasizing the importance of a robust healthcare system.

He said:

“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.” 

Governor Otti outlined the significance of strengthening primary healthcare services and ensuring that health facilities across the state were adequately staffed.

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The Minister of Health, represented by the Permanent Secretary of Abia State Ministry of Health, Dr Ifenyinwa Uma-Kalu, echoed the governor’s sentiments. Stressing the need for collaboration between state and federal governments, she urged states to provide essential infrastructure to support the healthcare system.

Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo, the Commissioner for Health, commended Governor Otti’s dedication to developmental initiatives aimed at unlocking Abia’s strategic human capital.

The first State Council on Health was described as a testament to the administration’s commitment to prioritizing the health and well-being of the state’s populace.

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