By Grace Chinonso
Benue State Head of Service, Dr. Moses Agbogbo Ode, has charged Permanent Secretaries in the state to ensure that over-heads allocated to ministries, departments and agencies of government are prudently utilized to justify its aim.
This was contained in a press release signed and made available to The Voice by the Information Officer, Office of the Head of Service, Dooshima Abuul.
According to the press release, Dr. Agbogbo Ode gave the charge in an interactive meeting with the Permanent Secretaries last Tuesday at the Conference Hall of his office.
He maintained that as accounting officers in government Ministries, there was need for total transparency and accountability in expending the resources provided by government to keep the offices operational.
The Head of Service reiterated the desire of Governor Alia to introduce reforms that will help reposition the service and bring back the lost glory of the service where leave bonuses, car refurbished loans, housing scheme for civil servants, and other benefits will be revived to meet the yearnings of workers in the state.
He further intimated the Permanent Secretaries that the committee reviewing the Civil Service Rules of 2013 has completed its assignment and was optimistic that the service will have a formidable operational guide to function effectively.
Dr. Ode promised to channel their challenges appropriately to Governor Alia and appealed to them to support the Governor, soliciting their prayers to enable the present administration tackle challenges and succeed.
In their separate remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Mr. Godwin Tighil, that of Education, Agbo Ochekpe, Pension Commission, Gabriel Ameh, Health, Beatrice Tsavmbu and Civil Service Commission, Helen Nyikyaa, appreciated the Governor for taking out time to visit the Secretariat to have a meeting with them to enable him see things for himself and have a firsthand information, describing the act as unprecedented.
The Permanent Secretaries enumerated their challenges to include: lack of official vehicles, upward review of over-heads considering the present economic realities, over deductions for the vehicles allocated to them among several others.
In a related development, the State Head of Service, Dr. Moses Agbogbo Ode has restated Governments stand to sanction erring Civil Servants who go contrary to Government Policies and programmes aimed at developing the state.
Dr. Agbogbo Ode stated this last Friday when he paid an unscheduled visit to the Benue State Library Board in continuation of his inspection tour of government ministries, departments and agencies to enforce staff compliance to work for an effective service delivery in the state.
The Head of Service who expressed dismay over the low turnout of staff at the State Library Board, frowned at the attitude of staff of the board where the offices were in shambles, book shelves dusty with an inhabitable environment and directed that the Director, Mrs. Victoria Agbede, who was absent at the time of the visit to report to his office.
Dr. Agbogbo Ode reminded staff that the official time of resumption to work is 8am while closing time is 4pm and warned that the situation where staff report to work at will, will not be tolerated.
He charged Heads of all ministries, departments and agencies to properly monitor staff truancy, pointing out that government programmes and policies can be implemented successfully if ministries, departments and agencies agencies of government are actively performing their roles towards enhancing productivity.
He said salaries are paid regularly and as when due and stressed the need for workers to reciprocate government efforts in its drive to achieve result in service delivery.
Meanwhile, the Benue State Government is to partner with the Nigerian Optometric Association to carry out free medical outreach for Civil Servants in the state.
The State Head of Service, Dr Agbogbo Ode, who hosted the Nigerian Optometric Association, Benue State Chapter last Thursday in his office reiterated government’s readiness to partner with any organization that is ready to assist government in developing the state, especially in the area of Benue people’s health needs for a healthier society.
Dr. Agbogbo Ode, who expressed Governor Alia’s sincerity of purpose evidenced in his landmark achievements in just few months in office, urged the Optometrists to carryout enlightenment programmes on ways to care for the eyes to achieve efficiency and safety of the eyes at the workplace.
The Head of Service called on the medical practitioners to support and pray for the Governor to surmount security challenges in the state and change the negative story of Benue State and also live a legacy for generations to come.
Earlier in an address by the Chairman, Nigerian Optometric Association, Benue State Chapter, Dr. Ebitu Omuoha, who intimated the Head of Service on their role as Optometrists in promoting visually healthy society said as eye care providers, they are closer to the populace at the grassroots, appealing to the Head of Service to take concrete steps and intervene to recruit more Optometrists in the Benue State Public health services to enhance and ensure the provision of quality eye care services to the people of Benue State.
Dr. Omuoha lamented that only five Optometrists are serving in the 22 general hospitals in the State while two Optometrists are serving in the whole of the State University Teaching Hospital.
He also appealed to the Head of Service to come to their rescue as regards their statutory approved allowances, saying Optometrists at the State Hospitals are paid as Lab Scientists/Pharmacists and pleaded that their nationally approved allowances be paid.
In his remarks, the National President, Optometric Association, Dr. Chimeziri Anderson applauded the state Governor for his tireless efforts in his bid to see a new Benue come to reality and appreciated the Head of Service in his task to reposition the State Civil Service.
Dr. Chimeziri said in his capacity as the National President, a lot of reforms have been introduced and he is working with Stakeholders to provide optimum visual healthy society both at the National and State levels, expressing optimism that Benue State stands to benefit from their services.