The healthcare workers under the Ondo State Government have lamented the non-payment of four months’ salary arrears.
The state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association and the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, in separate interviews with our correspondent, confirmed they received the January 2022 salary barely two weeks ago.
The NMA Chairman in the state, Dr. Stella Adegbehingbe, said the doctors in the state were working despite not being paid for February, March, April, and May.
Dr. Adegbehingbe said many doctors working in the state health facilities had either travelled abroad to seek greener pastures or gone to the federal-owned hospitals for better and prompt pay.
“We are working despite not being paid; we’ve been on it and that is what is happening in Ondo State, people are working and not being paid.
“This has led to some people leaving the state hospitals for Federal Government hospitals in Lagos and some people have travelled out,” Adegbehingbe said.
Also speaking, the State Secretary of NANNM, Mr. Aina Oluwasegun, confirmed that the nurses only received their January salary barely two weeks ago.
“The nurses are only struggling to survive; for the salary of a civil servant not to be paid is not an easy thing, you know that their financial obligations will not be met.
“If you take a look at the number of nurses in the state before they start owing salary, it has reduced drastically because virtually everybody is struggling to go and get jobs in other places, a lot of people have moved to other countries to seek greener pastures, even those that did not plan that before, the unpaid salary has made everybody willing to go.
“If the situation does not improve, the number of nurses in the state will still drop drastically. Some people never plan to leave the country but the unpaid salary has made them to travel out.”
Mr. Oluwasegun urged the state government to prioritise the health sector.
“We have been trying our best for the government to come to our aid regarding the payment of salary. We have been putting efforts for the government to prioritise the health sector considering the efforts of nurses during the pandemic when every other worker was at home, but there has not been any priority,” he said.