Doctors in Kogi state have resolved to shut hospitals over the inability of the state to pay their full monthly salary.
The doctors took the decision two days after Governor Yahaya Bello, said he borrowed N10 billion in addition to the last tranche of Paris Club refund to clear salary backlog.
Bello had said the state had settled all workers.
“In Kogi state today, we are up to date as far as salary is concerned. In the month of December like Mr President magnanimously assisted us with another tranche of Paris Club Refund, our own figure was N1.2 billion and some other change on top,” Bello had told reporters after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
“We didn’t just stop at that, we borrowed up to N10 billion and we added November/December allocation to our figures and we were able to clear four months at a stretch before Christmas and some leftover were cleared before this January in Kogi state.
“We were able to distribute it among these months. So, glory to God as far as Kogi state is concerned, we are not owing salaries.”
But the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has directed its members to resume strike on Monday over state governments’s failure to meet their demands.
Speaking on Sunday in Lokoja, the state capital, Godwin Tijani, chairman of the association, said the inability to pay the doctors’ full salaries was unacceptable.
Besides, Tijani said all the doctors’ associations and union dues, as well as members’ cooperative society contributions, were not remitted in full whereas 100 percent taxes were deducted from their salaries.
Tijani added that even some doctors were yet to be paid.
“Congress, therefore, resolved that all her members across the state should resume total and indefinite withdrawal of healthcare services from all hospitals in Kogi, with effects from 12:00 midnight on Sunday, January 7, 2018,” NAN quoted him as saying.
“We want government to give a definite timeline for the full implementation of adjusted CONMESS (new salary structure) for doctors in the state civil service and the accrued arrears since January 2014.
“Congress will reconvene once the state government responds appropriately to the aforementioned demands.”
Tijani, however, appreciated the commissioners for health and finance and others who were at the congress to douse tension and ensure peaceful resolution of the matter.
He also commended their members for their patience and understanding.
In June, Kogi NMA had suspended an earlier strike following the state government assurances that it would meet their demands.
It gave the government up until December 31, 2017, to meet the demand or face strike.