By: Wale Ibrahim, Lokoja
The proposed plan to introduce percentage payment of July salary by the Kogi State Government has continued to generate controversies among the various sectors of the State civil service.
Just as the National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP) in State has at weekend said the payment of 50 per cent salary to health workers was an attempt to introduce dichotomy in Kogi health sector.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by NAGGMDP Chairman, Dr. Alhassan Abubakar, and its Secretary, Dr Nuhu Idris, in Lokoja, said Government’s action was a move to discriminate her workforce which could cause divisions in the State’s civil service.
The association said it was rather unfortunate that while the Muslim faithfuls were preparing for sallah celebration, the state government chose to dash their hope and that of their colleagues by resorting to payment of half salary.
“We view government’s current action as an attempt to introduce dichotomy in the health sector with the view to weakening the fraternity.
“Doctors in Hospital Management Board (HMB) and Ministry of Health were singled out for this unfair treatment, while our colleagues in Kogi State Specialist Hospital (KSSH), the University and other tertiary institutions got full salary.
“The NAGGMDP support the full payment of salary to those so affected, but reject without equivocation, the payment of half salary to the rest of us.
“It is most disheartening that some of our members are still being owed months of salaries arrears and underpayments ranging from two to 18 months,” the statement reads.
The association, therefore, affirmed their support of the intending resumption of the earlier suspended strike by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA).
It would be recalled that the NMA in Kogi on Thursday rejected the payment of 50 per cent salary to her members, saying the State Government did not consult them before taking the action
However, the state government had earlier admitted to have paid some workers full salaries while others 50 per cent, which was widely rejected by both organised labour and the medical doctors in the state.
Mr Femi Fanwo, the Director General, Media and Publicity to Governor Yahaya Bello, disclosed that the State Government was able to pay 100 per cent to all pensioners with arrears because of their social situation.
He added that the government had also paid 100 full salaries to Judiciary workers and all workers in the state’s tertiary institutions and also cleared all subventions.
Fanwo however noted that all other categories, starting from political office holders were paid 50 per cent salaries due to the shortfall in allocation and non-payment of the Budget Support Fund from the Federation Account.