From Tom Garba, Yola
Health workers in the Adamawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency on Wednesday protested over non-payment of their salaries.
The angry workers picketed the entire premises of the agency carrying placard cards with various inscription such as ” pay us our salaries, Belle must go, we are hungry”
Chairman, Medical and Health Workers Union, Mr. Jeremiah Ngyaykwui, alleged that “the executive chairman has deliberately refused to pay us our salaries. We were reliably told that he has been getting subvention from government but he refused to pay us our salaries for three months now and very soon it will be four months”.
He added that “our furniture allowance since 2012 has not been paid. For Christ sake why are they not willing to pay us? Our CONTICS approved since 2012 has not being paid. Most worrisome is that the chairman has sacked all our focal persons who were being sponsored by foreign donor agencies.
“All our executive secretaries and conniving with the chairman to punish us. If the government did not step in to solve these problems, we will have no choice than to ground the activities of the health sector in the state”.
He further stated that “our colleagues in the local government areas are doing a great job providing health care for the locals, yet they are not being paid their salaries”
In his response the Executive Chairman Adamawa state Primary Health Care Management Agency, Dr Abdullahi Belle said his agency was facing serious cash problem as a result of dwindling finance from the federation accounts and could not pay salaries of the staff of the agency for the past two months.
Belle stated that it was not true that the agency was owing three months salaries: “It is only two months we are owing, December and January salaries and as it is now I don’t know how and when the arrears and this month salary will be paid. I have the governor’s approval to sources for money to pay the salaries. All we are waiting for now is the state House of Assembly to give the go ahead”
The executive chairman added that “the worker are not entitled to any allowance because they are on consolidated salary structure. What these workers want is for me to go and get an overdraft; that is what l will not do.”
State Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Dauda Minna, said: “I don’t know why the executive chairman has refused to pay their salaries when all other sectors are getting their subvention from the same source, he has no reason for not paying , we are in support of what the health workers are doing”.