Contract staff comprising cleaners, security guards and potters at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital (UATH) on Monday staged a peaceful protested over non-payment of their six months’ salary arrears.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protest led to gridlock on Dobi road connecting the hospital with the main town as both doctors and patients were stranded outside.
The protesters carried placards with different inscriptions: “Pay us our money’’ “Are we not Nigerians,’’ “some of us are widows, “our children are out of school’’.
Speaking to newsmen, leader of the protesters, Mr Leonard Mbanile, said several talks with the management demanding payment of the back-load of the salaries yielded no positive result.
“This is why we have embarked on this peaceful demonstration to show our grievances over unpaid six months’ salary arrears.
“We have not been paid for over six months and some of us can no longer eat or take our children to school any longer.
“The salary is just N15, 000 per month and yet they find it difficult to pay the little stipend to their workers.
“We will give them a one day ultimatum after which the gate will remain locked until they pay all the salaries and allowances,’’ he said.
Reacting to the development, Dr Nicholas Baamlong, the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) of the hospital said efforts were under way to clear the back-load of salary arrears owed.
He said that the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the hospital has gone to the Federal Ministry of Health to fast track the payment of the back-load of salaries.
“It is not about ultimatum, but peaceful dialogue, I can’t assure you what will be done between now and the next twenty four hours until we dialogue.
“Our CMD has gone to the Ministry to see how he can fast track the payment of the salaries.
“Their services are on contract basis and very important to the hospital but the fault is not from our management,’’ he said. (NAN)