The Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, has lamented that there were about 199 ghost doctors receiving monthly salaries and allowances.
Matawalle on Friday evening disclosed this to newsmen in his country home in Maradun town of Maradun Local Government Area of the State, where he narrated how the ghost doctors had been causing the delay in the payment of the health workers’ salaries and allowances.
According to the governor, though the state government was paying salaries to 280 doctors every month, it was discovered only 81 doctors are active in the entire state.
He further stated that the government had been in talks with labour leaders to seek out ways of removing the weeds from the plants, by tracing the 169 ghost health workers.
While answering questions from journalists, the Governor said that series of meetings have been going on between his government and the Labour leaders on productivity.
He further stated that civil servants in the State were expected to always justify their salaries and allowances.
The Zamfara governor said, “I was once a civil servant and I know the pains if my salary and allowances were not paid.
“The problem is, once we say we are going to implement it (N30,000), we can’t just say we are going to pay people directly like that. No, there was a system.”
Matawalle added, “We have developed a table and, unfortunately, during the exercise, it was discovered that there are over 280 doctors that have been collecting salaries from the state government, but in reality, we have only 81 doctors in Zamfara State.
“The labor union just confirmed to me why they delayed it, that they want to make sure that things go right because we cannot just continue like that as a government.”
He assured the public that no genuine civil servant will be retrenched by his administration with regard to the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage payment.
“I am not going to retrench anybody. In fact, I am going to give them (civil service) houses for all the civil servants. I have built 450 houses for them which nobody knows about it, but on Sunday, I will give them the keys,” he said.
The governor, however, commended the labour leaders in the State for approaching the issue of the N30,000 minimum wage with maturity and professionalism, pointing out that since he came on board in 2019, there has been no rancour between the government and the organized Labour.
This isn’t the first time that the Zamfara governor will be lamenting the escapades of health ghost workers in the state.
In 2020, the state through the Chairman of, Hospital Services Management Board, Mustafa Anka, stated that it lost the sum of N23m in paying for 93 doctors who never existed.
He further disclosed that the state in turn employed 282 health workers from the money that was paid to the 93 ghost doctors in the state.