By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The last has not been heard about the japa syndrome being experienced in the country as a result of poor renumeration and collapse of the health sector as the newly employed staff of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), has written an open “Save Our Soul” letter to the popular Arise Television presenter, Rufai Oseni for his intervention over their ten months unpaid salary.
The over half a million staff who have accused the Federal Government (FG) and Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) of having lost touch with the realities on ground, said it is quite unfortunate that Nigeria’s health sector has collapsed and Nigerians should expect the worst healthcare service delivery in the days ahead.
Describing themselves as victims of PROFESSIONAL SLAVERY by the management of OAUTH aided by officials of the Ministry, the newly employed OAUTH staff said they are yet to be captured to the IPPIS payroll.
According to the letter, “Some of the reasons why our Medical Practitioners such as Doctors, Pharmacist, Nurses, Medical Laboratory Scientist, Physiotherapist, Radiographer e.t.c are leaving the country (JAPA and Brain drain) to the U.S, other European and African Countries is because the ones that are working in Nigeria are really suffering.
Though Rufai Oseni said he is yet to verify the allegation raised in the letter.
Sundiata Post recalls that the President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajaero was last week brutalised in Imo while protesting the unpaid salaries of workers in the state.
Disclosing this via his X account @ruffydfire (formerly twitter), Oseni said:
I am yet to independently verify this.
The letter reads in full:
Dear, Mr Rufai Oseni
GOD BLESS NIGERIA
SAVE THE SOUL OF THE NEWLY EMPLOYED STAFFS OF OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL (OAUTH)—
OVER 10 MONTHS UNPAID SALARIES
It’s quite unfortunate that our Health sector has collapsed and Nigerians should expect the worst healthcare service delivery if the Federal Government (FG) and Federal Ministry Of Health (FMOH) don’t step up to it’s responsibilities. It seems they have lost touch with the realities on ground.
I and over 500 newly employed staffs of OAUTH are victims of PROFESSIONAL SLAVERY by the management of OAUTH aided by officials of the Ministry to Oversee Over 10 months unpaid salaries and inhumane neglect of the newly employed staffs who are not yet captured to the IPPIS payroll.
Some of the reasons why our Medical Practitioners such as Doctors, Pharmacist, Nurses, Medical Laboratory Scientist, Physiotherapist, Radiographer e.t.c are leaving the country (JAPA and Brain drain) to the U.S, other European and African Countries is because the ones that are working in Nigeria are really suffering.
Imagine a Medical Staff working in a Federal Government Teaching Hospital for over 10 months without been paid 1 kobo because we have not been captured by IPPIS due to one or two reasons best known to the Ministry and the Hospital Management.
Many lives are already miserable, Staffs are Living in debts, families are breaking, Staffs not able to pay children school fees, staffs are depressed and how do you want that same staff to attend to a patient???
SOME STEPS TAKEN TO RESOLVE THE UNFORTUNATE SITUATION IN THE PAST
1) In the past, Various Health Unions in the hospital such as JOHESU have embarked on strike actions in solidarity with the newly employed staffs to persuade the Management to pay salaries but these steps have yielded no Positive result because they are always forced or threatened back to work by the Ministry Of Health.
2) In September 2023, Some officials of the Ministry Of Health came to the hospital to carry out a Verification exercise for the new staffs. It’s 2 months ago…. Till this moment we have not heard from them… And staffs are still working, suffering and smiling.
3) There have been leadership crisis in the hospital for several months and we are all happy when a substantive CMD was appointed in September 2023, in Person of Prof. John Okeniyi, We thought our problems are over and IPPIS will capture us very soon….. Unfortunately, the CMD is more interested in projecting a (false) positive image of the Hospital to the general public by meeting with State Governors, First Class Kings and Chiefs, thereby abandoned his primary responsibility which is the WELFARE of his Staffs, while some of his staffs are drowning and perishing in untold hardship and frustration….. Specifically, till this moment, the CMD hasn’t released any INTERNAL MEMO or CIRCULAR to address unpaid staffs or show concern about our pains…. THE SILENCE IS TOO LOUD AND DEAFENING
IT IS TAKING TOO LONG.