Sanwo-Olu begs doctors to call off strike

Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday appealed to the striking doctors to return to work.

He blamed the ongoing strike by the Medical Guild on inadequate communication and understanding.

He however added the bone of contention, non-payment of the May and June additional COVID-19 allowance, had been settled.

He explained that the cause of the delay in payment was because of the enumeration, which his administration had to carry out to ensure that only those eligible received it.

The governor spoke when he fielded questions from journalists at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, where he commemorated year 2020 Tree Planting Day and commissioned a 36-chamber morgue donated by IHS Towers to the state government.

Sanwo-Olu also lamented that the Coronavirus pandemic had drastically altered the way Nigerians live their lives and do business.

While, appealing to the striking doctors, Sanwo-Olu said: “I think I owe the system as the Chief Incident Commander to express and to say to you that come back to work, I am still your governor, resume back to work and whatever the issues are we will sort it out.”

The COVID-19 additional allowance, which is different from hazard allowance that the government had earlier increased by 400 per is for all health workers.

However, he explained that the Coronavirus additional allowance was  for only frontline workers at the isolation centres, “but it became an all comers affair which was becoming a drain on the state’s purse, hence the enumeration”.

Other issues that led to the strike like taxes, residential quarters for doctors, shortage of doctors, dismissal of health workers etc, the governor said were being taken care off and the doctors are aware of it.

Meanwhile, the Medical Guild has appealed to government to ensure proper engagement with doctors toward resolving the issues that led their three-day warning strike.

“We still remain committed to peaceful resolution of issues that we have raised with the state government.

“Our position is that there is a need for proper engagement, negotiations and implementation of agreements, in order to make progress in the state’s health sector,” Dr. Oluwajimi Sodipo, the Guild chairman, said.

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