WHO IS ADVISING GOV. ALIA?
…Setting Records Straight on BSU Medical Students Induction
By Tyodoo Livinus
On Monday, 18th September, 2023, governor, Hyacinth Alia attended the 9th Professional Induction and Admission Ceremony for the 2023 Graduating Medical Doctors of the College of Health Sciences, Benue State University and came back to write on his personal Facebook page that he had “reactivated the Medical Bond Scheme, a vital initiative designed to provide financial support to our medical students of Benue State University throughout their academic journey…”
His Chief Press Secretary had earlier in the day posted a story on the issue saying that “By the bonding arrangement, the state government will place all medical students of the institution on a monthly allowances of ₦103,000 till graduation”.
With the above outing by Governor Alia, it is clear that the governor is either not consulting experts in government or he has been taking decisions on the spur of the moment without proper briefings from the technocrats in government ministries and agencies.
Since coming on board, Governor Alia has made pronouncements on several policies of government which were already implemented by the previous administration, but he makes it look like he is the one who just introduced the policy. I expect someone to feel embarrassed by the repeated blunders.
Let me return to the hounding scheme for medical students. What governor Alia didn’t know and maybe still does not know up to this moment is that the bounding scheme is not only for medical students of Benue State University. It is a scheme that covers all medical students of Benue State origin studying in any part of Nigeria. At the last count, the total of Benue medical students in different Nigerian universities stands at over 600.
Now, if you calculate the amount of ₦103,000 per medical student every month for only 600 students, what you will get is N61,800,000 (sixty one million, eight hundred naira. If you multiply that amount by 12 months, you will get N741,600,000 (seven hundred and forty-one million, six hundred thousand naira. That was the huge weight of the scheme that made it impossible for the state government to sustain.
I believe that governor Alia will be knowing this for the first time. If he had asked to be properly briefed by the state ministry of health, I am sure he would not have made that pronouncement. It is the same way he hastily declared N15,000 monthly allowance for each youth corps member posted to Benue State and a monthly allowance of N100,000 for each medical doctor posted to the state as a corps member. I understand that he has not started paying the money to the corps members. Funny
All through the induction ceremony at BSU on Monday, governor Alia and his team only wanted to make his predecessor Samuel Ortom look bad. He refused to acknowledge that the event he was attending was the 9th induction, which implied that eight inductions had taken place before he became governor.
Let me remind governor Alia that before Ortom became Governor in 2015, medical students of the university had stagnated for 12 years. Governor Ortom paid all accreditation fees and the university started graduating medical students.
Today, the College of Health Sciences of BSU is a tourist centre for many medical students in the country.
Governor Ortom was the first in the country in 2022 to domesticate (Medical Residency Training Fund) MRTF and went ahead to pay for the 2022 fund.
Ortom also paid all the registration fees for the medical students in all the 8 times that they were inducted. That is why Alia was attending the 9th induction ceremony.
During the 8th induction, Governor Ortom appreciated the best graduating doctor Bem Tyoh who graduated with the sum of 1 million naira.
Ortom was the one who introduced B.Sc Nursing at BSU by absorbing the School of Nursing into a department at the College of Health Sciences as a degree awarding institution.
The increment of admission intake of medical students at BSU was also the handwork of Governor Ortom who sponsored several accreditations and attended to so many requirements from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN.
Let me conclude by advising Governor Alia and his team that it is instructive to always make findings about every action their administration intends to take to avoid embarrassing themselves as in the case of the recent induction of medical students in BSU.