The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Osun State chapter today has urged the state Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola to pay arrears of salaries of medical doctors in the state from Paris Club refund that was released to the state government.
According to a communiqué issued after a crucial meeting of the NMA, signed by its State Chairman, Dr Tokunbo Olajumoke and Secretary, Dr Olaleken Ajayi, the body urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe how Aregbesola’s spent the initial fund released to Osun by the federal government.
The NMA urged Osun State Government to commence the payment of full salaries arrears and return to the negotiation table with doctors so as to ensure proper placement of doctors on their right salary structure as recommended by law.
The association said other states where the burden of unpaid salaries are not as bad as the situation in Osun have come out with favourable templates to ensure that all outstanding arrears are cleared.
According to the statement, “We strongly appeal to all stakeholders to impress it upon the government by whatever means lawful and necessary to act conscientiously and show human face in the management of the fund that the association retains the sole right to negotiate the welfare of doctors in the state”.
The NMA lauded the federal government for the timely release of the second tranche of the Paris club refund to the states. The Osun NMA also commended that National President of the association, Professor Mike Ozovehe Ogirima and his team for their support and guidance.
“The federal government and her agencies especially the EFCC should as a matter of urgency monitor the disbursement of the fund by the Osun state government and probe the disbursement of the earlier funds”.
“We also appreciate our members for their unprecedented perseverance and consideration in the last 24 months. We thank the good people of Osun State for their understanding and continued perseverance.”
“We are aware that Osun state has received 6.314 billion naira as its own share of the second tranche of the Paris club refund. The state has also been receiving monthly allocation from the federal government”
“Despite accessing 11.744 billion naira as the first tranche of the Paris club refund, Osun State government has continued to pay our members varying percentages of less than 30% of their salaries in the last 24 months”.
“The state government has also continued to withhold between 4-6 months salaries of our members without any justifiable reason and despite several appeals and continued engagement of the state government of Osun on the decadence in the health sector of the state, a lot has remained unattended to”
“That NMA and her affiliates have continued to engage the government of the day on such issues as salaries, state of healthcare delivery in the state and other pertinent issues of economic and health importance during these twenty four months of humiliation and poor treatment of our doctors and the entire state workers; doctors being the worst hit.”