<<< By Charles Iornumbe >>.
As part of his efforts to ensure that the Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, Makurdi meet accreditation requirements, Governor Samuel Ortom recently directed that casual staff of the schools be converted to permanent and pensionable status.
Investigations show that this directive has been complied with.
Schools of Nursing and Midwifery, Makurdi was established in 1977 to produce nurses and midwives to address the manpower requirement of health institutions in the Middle Belt Region.
Since their establishment four decades ago, the schools have produced nurses and midwives who have competed favourably with their counterparts anywhere in the world.
The schools however lost their accreditation in 2013 and have since lost the authority to admit students.
This development has denied health facilities in the state and beyond the opportunity to draw the manpower provided by the two schools.
Worried by development, Governor Samuel Ortom, on assumption of duty, took steps to provide the necessary requirements such as infrastructure, teaching facilities and qualified staff, the absence of which led to the withdrawal of the accreditation.
During his last visit to the schools preparatory to visit of the Nursing and and Midwifery Council of Nigeria for accreditation, Governor Ortom after expressing satisfaction with what had been done so far, directed that employment letters be issued to all casual staff and that the process should commence immediately.
Investigation shows that following the directive, all the casual staff have received their employment letters with documentation almost completed.
Commissioner for Health and Human Services, Dr.Cecilia Ojabor, who confirmed the issuance of the employment letters by the State Civil Service Commission in an interview said the move was part of accreditation requirements.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Adugu Gbileve said 86 casual staff had already been issued letters of permanent and pensionable employment out of which, 50 are of senior cadre and 36 junior.
Principal School of Nursing, Mrs. Pauline Atser who also spoke, commended Governor Ortom for fulfilling all the promises he made to change the face of the institution in order for it to secure accreditation while her counterpart at the School of Midwifery, Mrs Victoria Gusa was attending to the accreditation team at the time of the report.
Two of the newly absorbed Staff, Agnes Asom and Emmanuel Wuese who said they had worked as casual staff for four years, thanked Governor Ortom for giving them employment and promised to live above board.