Casual workers shut down FMC, Makurdi over non payment of allowances

The entrance of the Federal Medical Center in Makurdi, the capital city of Benue State was on Monday shut down by the casual workers of the hospital.

The casual workers who comprised security guards and cleaners had stormed the permanent site of the FMC in Apir, as early as 8 am and shut down the hospital.

The contract workers protested the non-payment of their allowance running to two years, stressing that the security men were owed two years while cleaners were owed nine months allowances.

One of the protesters, Mr Anijaba Mtomga, a security supervisor at the hospital said that they decided to shut down the hospital because the management owed them several months salaries.

According to him, “the management keeps saying it is the Federal Government that has not released money for our emoluments and this is running to two complete years that we have not been paid.

“We understand that the hospital provides essential services to the people and we have exercised patience and understanding with the management, we can no longer continue like this, we have families and other responsibilities to attend to,” he said.

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Also speaking a Cleaner Supervisor, Mr James Akase, explained that they were being owed nine months salary by the hospital adding that the situation was “really tough for us to bear.”

Responding to the plight of the workers, Mr Moses Atime, a Deputy Director, Nursing Services said that the Federal Ministry of Health and Human Services was responsible for the payment of all out-sourced staff within the health sector.

“The management is aware of this particular issue and all hands are on deck to resolve the issue. Already the Managing Director is on his way to Abuja to meet with the Ministry over the same issue.

“The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health and Human Services is responsible for their payment. They are not on our payroll”, Atime explained.

Also the Deputy Head of Clinical Services FMC, Makurdi, and Apir Site Coordinator, Dr Matthew Ocheifu disclosed that the non-payment of salaries to the outsourced workers had posed a serious security challenge at the centre.

“In any organisation security is paramount because if we don’t have peace we cannot be able to settle down and deliver the services we are supposed to deliver. This has really affected us in terms of service delivery,” Ocheifu said.

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