Doctors under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Kogi State on Sunday directed its members to resume strike on Monday over an alleged failure by the state government to meet their demands.
The decision was reached two days after the State Governor Yahaya Bello said he borrowed N10 billion in addition to the last tranche of Paris Club refund to clear salary backlog.
Bello had said the state had settled all workers.
He had said: “In Kogi state today, we are up to date as far as salary is concerned. In the month of December like Mr President magnanimously assisted us with another tranche of Paris Club Refund, our own figure was N1.2 billion and some other change on top.”
“We didn’t just stop at that, we borrowed up to N10 billion and we added November/December allocation to our figures and we were able to clear four months at a stretch before Christmas and some leftover were cleared before this January in Kogi state.
“We were able to distribute it among these months. So, glory to God as far as Kogi state is concerned, we are not owing salaries.”
But the NMA said it has directed its members to resume strike on Monday over state government’s failure to meet their demands.
Speaking on Sunday in Lokoja, the state capital, Godwin Tijani, chairman of the association, said the inability to pay the doctors’ full salaries was unacceptable.
According to Tijani, even some doctors are yet to be paid.
“Congress, therefore, resolved that all its members across the state should resume total and indefinite withdrawal of healthcare services from all hospitals in Kogi, with effects from 12:00 midnight on Sunday, Jan 7, 2018.
“We want government to give a definite time line for the full implementation of adjusted CONMESS (new salary structure) for doctors in the state civil service and the accrued arrears since January, 2014.
“Congress will reconvene once the state government responds appropriately to the aforementioned demands,” he said.