By Osa Okhomina, Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State Executive Council weekend approved the employment of 65 medical personnel and setting up of a Direct Labour Agency (DLA) for the State.
While the 65 medical staff, made up of medical doctors, pharmacists and medical laboratory scientists, are expected to meet the manpower needs in the health sector.
The setting up of the Direct Labour Agency (DLA) direct labour units to undertake quick-win projects, noting that, the measure would go a long way to empower youths as well as manage scarce resources.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kojo Omietimi, who disclosed this, explained that, this was part of the resolutions of the 67th Session of the Executive Council Meeting, in Government House, Yenagoa, pointing out that, the Executive Council has earmarked N11 million monthly for the payment of their salaries.
Dr. Omietimi, who joined the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite and his counterparts in the ministries of Education, Lands and Survey and Housing Development in briefing newsmen, stated that, by the end of this month, arrangements would be concluded for the medical personnel to commence a one year internship.
He also announced that, Council approved the release of N150 million for the completion of the 5 referral hospitals in Sagbama, Kaiama, Ogbia, Oporoma and Ekeremor, which have attained various stages of completion.
According to him, Council resolved that the hospital projects be completed, through direct labour, in view of the lean finances of the state occasioned by the shortfall in the federation allocation to States.
Dr. Omietimi, who noted that, the government approved funds for the procurement and installation of an incinerator at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri also gave approval for the purchase of a land ambulance to improve health service delivery.
According to him, Council approved the release of funds for 3 Rounds of Immunization Days as the World Health Organization, WHO, has made available its counterpart funds to enable the state conduct the exercise before the end of this year.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Hon. Jonathan Obuebite, said Council approved the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF document for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 and directed all ministries to forward their proposals for the 2017 budget to facilitate implementation of the budget by January 2017.
Hon. Obuebite also noted that, Council directed the Ministry of Justice to forward a bill to the State House of Assembly for an enabling law to establish the Direct Labour Agency in the light of the economic downturn.
He noted that, all ministries, departments and agencies were expected to set up direct labour units to undertake quick-win projects, noting that, the measure would go a long way to empower youths as well as manage scarce resources.