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Health Workers Protest: FG Deploys Perm Sec to Finance Ministry



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President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has approved the deployment of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Mrs. Fatima Bamidele to the Ministry of Finance.

A statement by the Director (Communications) in the OHCSF, Mr. Tope Ajakaiye, quoted the HOS, Alhaji Bukar Goni Aji as directing that the processes for handing and taking over should be completed on or before Wednesday, July 24, 2013.

Although Bamidele is not the only person affected by the transfer, THE PUNCH was informed on Tuesday night that her case followed series of complaints against her by members of the Health Workers Union who recently staged a protest demanding for her removal.
The Central Working Committee of the union had last week locked down the premises of the Ministry and called on the Head of Service to “post the Perm Sec (Bamidele) out of the ministry.”
 The CWC chairman, Matthias Ogbalor, said agreements reached in the long-running dispute with the ministry were not implemented.
“We found out that management has been deceiving the union and going for two years now,” he said.
The workers claimed that an estimated N4.6 billion in budget funding was returned, “when we have issues on ground.”
According to him, the money includes arrears on course allowances, death benefits and other accumulated debts.
He said instead, the ministry has focussed in the first two quarters of 2013 on paying old debts and contractors to the detriment of its workers.
“Since she came to our ministry, our ministry has spoilt,”  said one protesting worker. “Go to store, there’s nothing there. There’s no material to do work. And we have a lot of arrears to collect. People who were promoted have not been paid promotion arrears because there’s no money.”
Bamidele could not be reached then for comments while the ministry did not react to the workers’ protest and its press office has kept from issuing an official stand.
Others affected by the transfer include the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Danladi Kifasihas who has been taken to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
 While Ambassador Sani Bala, before now in the Federal Civil Service Commission has been taken to the Ministry of Health, his counterpart in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Ambassador Abdulkadir Musa, has been taken to the Police Service Commission.
The movement also affected Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan who has been moved from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (Service Policies and Strategies Office) to the Ministry of Information.

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