As Bala Mohammed seeks a second term to keep governing Bauchi State, we asked ChapGPT, an OpenAI chatbot launched last year to write about the governor and his stewardship, particularly as it relates to health, pension and gratuity scheme. Below are the unedited responses it gave us.
TELL US ABOUT GOVERNOR BALA MOHAMMED
Governor Bala Mohammed is the current Governor of Bauchi State in Nigeria. He was elected in 2019 and is a member of the People’s Democratic Party. He has a long history of public service, having served as a Senator for Bauchi South from 2007 to 2015. During his time in the Senate, he was a member of several committees, including the Senate Committee on Power and Steel.
As Governor, he has focused on improving infrastructure and providing basic services to citizens. He has also worked to improve security in the state by launching a security trust fund and creating a special security task force. He has also worked to improve the economy of the state by launching a number of initiatives, such as the Bauchi State Investment Promotion Agency and the Bauchi State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy.
HOW HAS GOVERNOR BALA FAIRED WITH PENSIONERS
Governor Bala Mohammed has taken a number of steps to improve the welfare of pensioners in Bauchi State. He has increased the monthly pension allowance for retirees, and he has also implemented a policy that allows pensioners to access their pensions through mobile banking. He has also launched a pensioners’ welfare fund to provide financial assistance to pensioners in need. Additionally, he has established a Pensioners’ Desk at the Bauchi State Ministry of Finance to ensure that pensioners receive their entitlements in a timely manner.
Overall, pensioners in Bauchi State are generally happy with the administration of Governor Bala Mohammed. He has taken a number of steps to improve their welfare, and his policies have been well-received by pensioners. Additionally, he has made it easier for pensioners to access their pensions, which has been a major source of satisfaction for them.
WHAT IS THE STATE OF HEALTH UNDER GOVERNOR BALA MOHAMMED?
Under Governor Bala Mohammed, the state of health in Bauchi State has improved significantly. The Governor has implemented a number of initiatives to improve access to healthcare, including the establishment of a Primary Health Care Development Agency and the introduction of free healthcare services for pregnant women and children under five.
He has also increased the number of health facilities and improved the quality of care in existing facilities. Additionally, he has launched a number of health awareness campaigns to educate the public on preventive healthcare measures.
WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS OF HEALTH FACILITIES IN BAUCHI RURAL AREAS UNDER GOVERNOR BALA?
Under Governor Bala Mohammed, the conditions of health facilities in Bauchi rural communities have improved significantly. The Governor has invested in the construction and renovation of health facilities in rural areas, as well as providing additional medical equipment and supplies. He has also increased the number of healthcare personnel in rural areas.
WHAT WE KNOW
- Health sector
Governor Bala on May 29, 2019, in his inaugural address, said: “The primary healthcare level will be strengthened to provide the majority of the services required in our communities. We commit to making pregnancy and childhood safe for all citizens wherever they live. At present, 1 in 115 live births result in a mother dying from preventable causes related to limited access to either basic midwifery or emergency care.
“To improve access to quality midwifery care, the government will strengthen and expand the Midwifery schools, but beyond training more midwives. We would work to retain frontline health workers, too. To address the acute shortage of health workers and the health crisis in Bauchi State as a whole, I would convene a Health Sector Multi-Stakeholder Roundtable Conference which will explore avenues for enhancing the capacity of the workforce in terms of numbers, quality and equitable distribution across the 20 LGAs.”
At one point, the governor ordered that 100 doctors be recruited to tackle the dearth of medical doctors in hospitals across the state, but WikkiTimes understands that it did not go well.
Presently, the governor is seeking reelection amid the decaying state of health in Bauchi. Two years after emerging as the governor, WikkiTimes extensively reported that his promise to rejig the state’s health sector had not been fulfilled.
Last year, WikkiTimes documented a number of Primary Health Care (PHC) centres in Bauchi that need overhauling, a scenario that triggered the state government to explain a few things to the platform.
According to the Executive Secretary of Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Rilwanu Muhammed, lack of support from donor organisations deepens health facility crisis in the state. The secretary said the state is trying its best to keep afloat.
But the health crises continued as WikkiTimes recently reported that about 872 women died of maternal and perinatal clinical conditions between July to December 2022.
- Pensioners’ plights
Under Governor Bala’s administration, pension and gratuity have continued to accumulate as senior citizens who had served the state in several capacities lament denied entitlements, WikkiTimes can report.
As of December 2018, Bauchi State owed N16.937 Billion in pensions and gratuities. In 2019, the state incurred an additional N3.998 billion, while it settled N 1.069 billion. By the end of 2019, the debt rose to N19.86 billion, WikkiTimes’ investigation revealed.
By November 2020, the state pension and gratuity debt stood at N21.6 billion, 7.97 per cent increase over the previous year. As of January 2022, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Bauchi State said the state government was owing retirees over N20 billion in gratuities.
Although WikkiTimes could not access recent data on owed pensions and gratuities, the government, about two months ago, claimed it released N500 million to offset gratuities.