The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Kogi chapter, on Friday commended Kogi Government for payment of two and three months’ salary arrears of the state’s workers.
A statement by Dr. Kabiru Zubair, the NMA Chairman in Lokoja, commended the governor for living up to expectation by paying two and three months’ salary arrears of core civil servants and tertiary institutions respectively.
According to Zubair, NMA has monitored the smooth conduct and progress made so far with payment of salaries based on the ongoing ‘pay parade’ by the state government.
“We can authoritatively confirmed that the cheques issued to most of our members have been cleared, confirming the government’s political will and genuineness of the process.
“We give kudos to Kogi Government for the several bold attempts made to sanitise the State Civil Service since coming into office in January 2016.
“It is no secret that corruption is endemic in the civil service which accounts for the huge government wage bill in the state.
“We hope with the successful completion of this exercise, Kogi would have established the true state’s wage bill, and finally put an end to delay in salary payment,” Zubair said.
He commended the state chapters of organised labour, NLC and TUC led by Mr Onuh Edoka and Ranti Ojo, for their active role and doggedness in ensuring fidelity of the process and for holding government accountable and responsible to the people.
“We believed if the state civil service pay roll is well sanitised, and available state’s funds prudently managed coupled with political will, the regular payment of worker’s salaries, even the new minimum wage, should not be a herculean task for the government.
Zubair, however, appealed to the Governor for payment of the balance of 40 per cent salary arrears from Aug. to Dec. 2017, in which 60 per cent was paid.
“We are also appealing to state government to clear Jan., Sept., Oct. and Nov. 2018 salary arrears, and backlog of underpayments.
“The remaining 13 new doctors that were employed in 2017, including a professor in Kogi State University, who are yet to receive their salary since Aug. 2017, should be paid within the shortest possible time.
“Further more, in order to reverse the ongoing internal brain drain in the Kogi State Health Sector, there is need to do more, such as the implementation of corrected Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) and skipping.
“Others are annual step increments, promotion, new minimum wage, Kogi State Health Insurance Scheme and tax rebate, are all required to retain doctors and other health care workers and attract new ones into Kogi Civil Service.
“If nothing is done, it is almost impossible to stop doctors from leaving the Kogi civil service.
“In the last two weeks alone, seven more doctors have resigned from their employment with the Kogi State Specialist Hospital, Lokoja, which has further worsening the manpower situation there.
The Chairman, therefore, urged government at all levels to make payment of workers’ salaries their top priority irrespective of the notion held by political office holders, as it guarantees social security and health in the society.
“It has remained the best kept secret of successful governments and businesses, failure to prioritize this, is only a panacea for system failure.
“The nonpayment of workers salaries is the fuel for crime and corruption in the society”, he said.
Zubair reiterated that the NMA was not against the government or any of it’s organs, saying their paramount interest remained the welfare of their members and improvement in the quality of health care delivery in the state.Share this on WhatsApp