Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has assured that his administration will not leave unpaid salaries for his successor after his eight years in office.
Akeredolu who gave this assurance in Akure, the state capital, during the Ondo State Health Summit, held at the International Culture and Event Centre (DOME) in Akure on Monday, vowed not to owe workers’ salary.
He explained that the COVID-19 pandemic affected the finance of the state and hindered regular payment of salaries, saying he never owed workers’ salaries prior to the pandemic season.
He noted that although his predecessor left seven months’ unpaid salaries, but said six of the outstanding salary had been paid and promised that all salaries arrears presently owed will be paid.
“I am glad to inform you that we made giant strides in all of these areas. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic came in the third year into our first term with its attendant economic crisis which has since put governments across the world in financial straitjackets.
“Notwithstanding the precarious situation we inherited in 2017, you will recall that we had settled six of the seven months arrears of salaries.
“We employed and have continued to employ qualified personnel for our primary, secondary, and tertiary health care facilities. We equally brought in several containers of hospital equipment worth billions of naira from the United States.
“Again, we established Teaching Hospital Complexes in both Akure and Ondo cities as well as established the Contributory Health Insurance Commission among other achievements that are well known to most of our health sector practitioners in the State,” the governor said.
He said his administration is determined to sustain and continually improve on efforts at delivering effective and qualitative health care and social welfare services to the people.
He stated that efforts are in top gear to continually employ qualified personnel for primary, secondary, and tertiary health care facilities, stressing that shipments of several containers of hospital equipment worth billions of naira had been brought into the state from the United States.
He said: ”It is trite knowledge that no government anywhere in the world can claim to have done or achieved it all, especially within the context of a changing world and within the perspective of the theme of this summit.
“It is for this and many other reasons that the decision to focus on the challenges facing our health care delivery system as a government is well thought out”
Akeredolu also acknowledged that the need to quickly reposition the health sector with utmost commitment and collaboration is a task that must be done by all stakeholders, reassuring all medical and health workers that health care remains a central focus of his administration’s REDEEMED Agenda.
“We will, therefore, spare no effort in promptly attending to your welfare. The current issues relating to salary payment are receiving our attention even at the national level. We are working hard to ensure that our State is better funded and supported without delay in order to deliver on our constitutional responsibility to our people.” he said.
The governor, however, commended the health workers for their level of perseverance in the face of hardship and also appealed to them that their welfare remains a top priority.
Akeredolu further stressed that his administration will not vacillate in its determination to ensure that the people and residents of the State are duly vaccinated against the deadly virus.
“To this end, we shall continue to enforce the deadline already issued for everybody in this State to be vaccinated or forfeit the privileges from the government such as the entrance to public places and access to certain services, among others” he noted
Earlier in her welcome address, the permanent secretary, ministry of health, Mrs Folukemi Aladenola said the health summit in the state is intended to tap into the experience of experts in the medical profession, policymakers, technocrats, and critical stakeholders in the health sector towards updating the health policy in the state.
“And also leveraging on the summit to discuss developing the needed synergy among the different components of the health sector,” she added.
Also Speaking, Director General Kano State Drugs and Hospitals Consumables Management Agency, Alhaji Hisham Imam, and his counterpart from Niger State, Dr Mohammed Audi commended Akeredolu for his various health interventions just like his counterparts in Kano State and Niger State.
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