Doctors at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo, Ondo State, on Wednesday staged a protest on the premises of the centre over non-payment of the 2016 shortfall of their salaries.
The doctors, under the auspices of the Association of Resident Doctors, gathered in front of the office of the Acting Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Ahmed Liasu.
They complained that though the Federal Government had released N280,800,750.00 to pay the salary shortfall, the hospital management had refused to use it to that effect.
The protesters displayed placards with various inscriptions such as: ‘We no longer want Dr. Ahmed Liasu as our CMD’, ‘Dr. Ahmed Liasu, stop misrepresenting FG on staff welfare,’ ‘ Ahmed Liasu, pay workers the money released by FG over five months ago,’ among others.
Speaking with journalists, the President of the ARD, FMC Owo chapter, Dr. Ibikunle Fakorede, alleged that the acting CMD failed to release the money to the doctors because the money had been diverted at the expense of the doctors .
He revealed that the doctors have consequently resolved to embark on skeletal services until the management pay their money.
He said, “The problem is about our 2016 salary shortfall that was released to this centre since April 2017 and we got the document of how the money should be spent.
“We wrote letters to the management of this centre that this money is for us, that they have to pay this money to us, but up till now, we have not been paid.
“I want to say that throughout 2016, it was only doctors that were not paid full salaries and in the course of this last year, he (CMD) wrote series of letters requesting for this shortfall and the Federal Government has released the money to him since April this year and up till now he has not paid us the money.”
Fakorede, who appealed to the Federal Ministry of Health to wade into the matter, said the doctors would be resuming at the entrance of the office of the CMD by 8am and would not go to their offices until 1pm everyday until the management pays their money.
The Acting CMD, Dr. Liasu, confirmed on telephone that some money was paid to the centre, but that it was not meant to pay 2016 salary shortfall of the doctors.
He said, “For them to say the money is meant to pay the shortfall of the salaries of the doctors is a lie. The money is for all the workers in the hospital. There is no way the money could be diverted.”
He appealed to the protesting workers to be patient, saying the centre was still expecting more funds from the Federal Government and that the matter would be settled.