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Lagos dismisses claim on planned reduction of doctors’ allowances

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Lagos State government on Sunday dismissed claims it has ordered the reduction of the monthly allowances of National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) doctors in the state from N75,000 to N15,000.

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) had on Saturday declared its intention to embark on a nationwide strike from August 2 over the Federal and state governments’ failure to honour its agreements with the doctors.

The association also accused the Lagos State of planning to reduce the NYSC doctors’ allowance effective from July.

But the state’s Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle, in a statement dismissed the NARD’s claim on planned reduction of the doctors’ allowance as “false and misleading.”

She said: “Lagos State Government has noted the decision of the National Association of Residents Doctors (NARD) to call out doctors on a strike from Monday, August 2, 2021.

“The decision followed the directive of its National Executive Committee meeting held in Umuahia on July 30, 2021.

READ ALSO: Nigerian govt to meet with health workers over payment of hazard allowances

“The communiqué cited, among other grievances, a purported directive from the Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Special Duties, to reduce the monthly payment of NYSC Doctors from N75,000 to N15,000, effective July 2021. This claim is false and misleading.”

Ponnle said a circular issued by the state’s Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, on workers’ salary structure was in response to the resolutions reached in last year’s National Council on Establishments (NCE) meeting held in Lagos.

The commissioner added: The resolutions reached at the 42nd National Council on Establishments (NCE) Meeting held in Lagos on Monday, 30th November – Friday, 4th December 2020, necessitated the issuance of a circular by the Head of Service of Lagos State, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, to communicate the decision taken at the Federal level to public servants in Lagos.

“The directive was that Internship Programmes/Houseman-ship/NYSC Doctors in the Public Service should no longer attract Grade Levels in the Salary Structure as the programmes form part of the training.

“Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu remains committed to the welfare of Lagos State Government employees, particularly the health workers who have showed commitment, bravery and resilience in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The state government through the Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions, will hold a stakeholders’ consultative meeting in the coming week on the implications of the decision taken by the National Council of Establishments on Internship, Housemanship and NYSC Doctors in the Civil/Public Service, which prompted this action.

The decision of NARD is hasty. We, therefore, appeal for restraint by the Lagos Chapter of the Association of Resident Doctors and the Nigerian Medical Association. They should wait for the conclusion of these engagements.”

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