Anambra Assembly decries deplorable state of Primary Healthcare Centres, poor salaries of civil servants

Posted by News Express | 7 July 2022 | 282 times

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The Anambra House of Assembly has expressed dissatisfaction with the state of Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in the state in spite of accessibility to Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF).

Dr Cater Dike-Umeh, representing Aguata Constituency I and Chairman, House Committee on Health, made the observation at the ongoing 2022 Revised Budget defence by the state House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation, in Awka.

Dike said the state of the PHCs were deplorable and unacceptable.

“In most of the constituencies, we are yet to see any PHC that has been refurbished. So, we will carry out an oversight function to see these projects the BHCPF were used for since 2020.

“The best we can give to residents is access to basic healthcare. We have to get it right this time around as it concerns primary healthcare in Anambra,” Dike-Umeh said.

Earlier, Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu, Executive Secretary of the Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, said it had accessed over N805 million from the BHCPF since 2020.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the BHCPF was established under section 11 of the National Health Act 2014 as a catalyst funding to improve access to primary healthcare.

BHCPF provides free minimum basic healthcare to the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians through accredited Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

She said: “Anambra is one of the states in the country that met the criteria to access the Basic Health Care Provision Fund since 2020.

“The fund is for 332 PHCs in different Wards of the state. The fund comes quarterly by remita to the facilities from the Central Bank of Nigeria and it is an average of about N103,000 per facility.

“Since 2020, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency has deposited the sum of N805, 049, 047.79 to the 332 facilities to refurbish and equip the primary healthcare centres.

“The Ward Development Committee Chairmen are the signatories to the account and they carry out these projects based on an approved work plan by the national.

“Through this fund, we were able to also employ 60 midwives to fill the gap because we have shortage of staff,” she said.

In another development, the Anambra State House of Assembly has expressed displeasure over poor salaries of civil servants in the state.

It said that the development contributed to the deterioration of work standards in the civil service.

Mr Johnbosco Akaegbobi, representing Nnewi South Constituency ll, made the assertion during the ongoing 2022 Revised Budget defence of the Office of Head of Service.

The defence is done before the Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation, on Wednesday in Awka.

Akaegbobi, also the House Committee Chairman on Establishment, described the civil service as the instrument through which government policies toward development were executed.

He said it was sad that Grade levels eight and nine civil servants were paid below N40,000 as salaries, in spite of the difficult economic situation in the country.

“The salaries of our state’s civil servants are just too poor. There is no way they can survive with such monthly pays given the state of the country’s economy.

“Another problem is that civil servants are not promoted as at when due. All these errors are exactly why they are not motivated to put in their best. There is a need for salary review,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Obinna Emeneka representing Anambra East Constituency, expressed dissatisfaction with the job attitude and job performance of civil servants.

Emeneka said that the behaviour of workers were characterised by such attitudes as laziness, absenteeism, lateness to work and hostility to members of the public.

“There is a need to declare state of emergency on our civil service system because of the general laxity and inadequate performance in the state civil service,” he said.

Contributing, Mr Smart Okafor, representing Nnewi North Constituency, said that when civil servants were positively motivated, it precipitates positive behaviour and performance.

Responding, Mrs Theodora Igwegbe, Head of Service of the state, said Gov. Charles Soludo had set up a committee on salary review to address the issues of civil servants remuneration.

“Anambra is one of the states that did not implement the minimum wage for workers. So, it is my hope that the outcome of the committee’s work will provide the impetus for an upward review of the salaries of civil servants.

“I have also visited the 20 ministries in the state to interact with them and to emphasis the enforcement of the civil service rule.

“We also have programmes aimed at improving the competencies of officers in the civil service through training and re-training of staff to improve performance and productivity,” she said. (Pieced together from different NAN reports)


Source: News Express

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