Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Wednesday, welcomed complaints from medical doctors on the payroll of the state government who may be claiming unpaid entitlements, saying they must defend such claims before him.
Wike addressed the medical practitioners at the commissioning of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) Renal Centre and House Officers Quarters in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Acknowledging the brain drain bedevilling the health sector in the state as well as other parts of the country, the governor noted that placing an emphasis on welfare was crucial to maintaining the quality of life of doctors.
Wike, however, raised questions regarding the work ethic of the majority of staff in the state civil service.
“Of course, everybody will want to give incentives that will make you put in your best. There is nobody who is working who is (not) entitled to allowances, hazards, or debt allowances or whatever you may call it; you are entitled to be paid,” he said.
“But again the truth of the matter remains, (for) some of us who are in the civil service, do we really go to work when we are supposed to be at work?”
“I’m not against anybody earning whatever entitlement. No, I’m not against that. But we should also say, you that are seeking to earn this, in your conscience, have you put in the number of hours that qualifies you to earn these allowances?
“For me, if you know the government is owing you genuinely, not sitting down to work out anything, I will pay. But you must defend it before me o. It’s not just going to bring paper. I don’t believe in that; you must defend it before me.”