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‘Why FCT couldn’t pay health workers for three months’

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The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Health Secretariat has blamed the inability to pay its nurses and midwives for three months (January to March 2020) on the challenges of capturing and migrating them to the Independent Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) platform as directed by the government.

The FCT nurses, midwives and other essential hospital workers went on strikes for several months, demanding payment of their January, February and March salaries, a situation that led to closure of several hospitals owned by the FCT administration.

Addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja on what led to the non-payment of the workers, the FCT Acting Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr. Mohammed Kawu, disclosed that the delay was caused by the staff-capturing exercise of the IPPIS.

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‘’But the good news is that all that have been settled and presently, our staff in the health sector have been paid their salaries and areas,’’ Kawu said.

He explained that the capacity of the secretariat to plan, implement and manage effectively the FCT health care sector, to a large extent, still depends on the available funds, infrastructure and capacity of its personnel.

‘’At present, the secretariat is faced with some key challenges such as poor operational method and logistics occasioned by inadequate office space, inadequate operational vehicles and insufficient human and material resources, including office equipment and furniture,’’ he said.

Kawu listed other challenges of the FCT as lack of appropriate legislation to back the activities of the School of Nursing and Midwifery, gaps in funding its activities, programmes and projects and over- dependent on donor funds..

He said that despite the challenges, the secretariat made several bold achievements to properly serve the FCT population, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Acting Secretary noted: ‘’In the FCT, following confirmation of three cases of COVID-19 on the 20th of March, 2020, a multi-sect oral COVID-19 Emergency Operation Centre (ECC) was activated on 23rd March, 2020 to coordinate the response to the outbreak, in collaboration with partners’’.

Kawu revealed that during the investigation and testing of 86,505 suspected cases of COVID-19 , 8,338 cases were confirmed positive as at 11th of December, 2020.

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