From Osakhare Erese, Asaba
Anger laced with related activities have continued to unsettle Delta civil servants over the recently introduced contributing health insurance scheme.
Expectedly, aggrieved civil servants at the Unity Hall of Government House Asaba, for a seminar spoke their minds in anger and hatred for the scheme, describing it as “conduit pipe” to milk them dry from their paltry salaries.
The seminar tagged: “Dialogue with the Head of Service” with various lectures”, the ideal number of permanent secretaries in the state public service relative to the situation in other states of the federation, the rationality of retirement under the current economic situation to fill the generational gap occasioned by retirement in view of the large size of the state public service relative to the situation in other state of the federation, glaringly saw over 4, 000 civil servants in the hall raising questions as to the relevance of the contributing Health Insurance Scheme including expressing their displeasure over the scheme with loud ovation of no we are forced into the scheme” the angry workers alleged it was a way of collecting money from them for inexplicable reasons.
They said: “the dictation for the scheme is uncalled for, we are forced into it, civil servants are suffering in Delta state for one deduction or the other”.
Although, the angry workers were prevented from speaking to the press, but some of them who did not want their names in the print, described the scheme as a failure that can never address their health issues, adding “we are totally not in support of the scheme, we are forced into it by the present government of Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, we shall soon take to the streets when the situation becomes too unbearable”.
But in a swift reaction, the State Head of Services, (HOS), Mr. Reginald Bayoko dismissed the allegation of fraud as untrue, stating that the contributing health scheme would serve as measures to alleviating sufferings of the civil servants in terms of health failures and urged them to make their contributions.
He said that the Okowa led administration was committed to the welfare of civil servants in the state, particularly in ensuring prompt payment of salaries, others.
Investigation revealed that the workers by the stipulation of the scheme, will contribute N3.5million yearly to the scheme that would take care of their health and its related: the deduction the workers alleged may be diverted into “person pockets”.
Speaking at the opening of the seminar, the Head of Service (HOS) Mr. Reginald Bayoko recalled that 2016, the state held the 4th edition of dialogue with head of service” with the theme “the role of a virile civil service in Actualizing the SMART Agenda of the present administration as it provides confidence that in the present, crop of senior civil servants, they are great assets to the state in its determined efforts to build a virile bureaucracy and not minding any opinion to the contrary.