Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has approved a 5 per cent pay rise for health workers in the state. The wage increment, he said is for all medical practitioners including laboratory technicians, nurses and midwives.
The Governor announced the 5 per cent salary increase when he received members of the Joint Health Sector Union, whom he invited for a courtesy visit in the Government House, Benin City.
Contrary to many states in Nigeria that finds it difficult to pay workers wages, even owing as far as five months salary, the Edo state government had earlier within the month also raised doctors’ pay by 5 percent.
In his words, Oshiomhole said that for government to maintain its integrity, it must fulfill the promise made to its workers during the salary review in 2014; to make further upward adjustments in workers wages.
He laid emphasis on the economic crisis in Nigeria, saying that not only is price of crude oil on the low, the country is also saddled with massive looting and diversion of public funds at federal level.
“If you have been reading the news as I have done, both print and electronic, it is now established that NNPC did not remit as much as N3.2 trillion to the federation account under Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Minister of Finance and these bare the issues we have been talking about.
“Now, Edo State’s share of that money, if it had been remitted to the Federation Account, would have been more than N50 billion. So those numbers that they throw around in Abuja have direct implication on states and local governments. Imagine what we could have done if we have extra N50 billion today.
“I do appreciate the escalating cost of living even at a time of dwindling revenue accruing to the country. So, in recognition of that, rather than as a reflection of ability to pay, and other considerations, we will up your pay by 5 per cent across all the health sector workers whether they are Lab technicians, nurses, midwives and what have you. I have asked the Accountant-General to have that reflected in your salary.”
Oshiomhole expressed his appreciation to their contribution to the development of the state, and happiness over the newly constructed government Central Hospital. According to him, the building would do a lot better when it is equip with the state-of-the-art to help all patients, rich or poor.
He also pointed out that human factor is another vital matter required for the health sector to function effectively.
“When we have dedicated workers, skilled workers, committed healthcare providers that see the patients as friends, as brothers, as relatives and I know that though money alone does not motivate man, but however, we cannot downplay the fact that a hungry stomach cannot possibly be a motivating incentive.
“So, I want you to accept this as a mark of my own commitment in ensuring that even at this time in our national crisis, that the workers are recognized as a critical agent in the process of governance and our sheer commitment to take Edo State to the highest level.”
Speaking earlier, Chairman of the Joint Health Workers Union in Edo State, Comrade Osaretin Agbonlahor, express his gratitude on behalf of the Union, thanking the governor for his commitment to their welfare irrespective of the economic situation.
“We want to appreciate you for what you have been doing. When we go for meetings with other states, you hear salaries being owed for up to two, three months but here, by the 23rd of the month, our salary has come. This is a great motivating factor, and we are grateful to you. I am elated to know that at this crucial time, you have not diminished and by the special grace of God, you will not diminish.”
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