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Clueless Hospital MD refuses to pay salary,claims fear of EFCC



I am sending this in as a report, hopefully a journalistic approach can be applied to make it more fit for publishing. However, in the interim I want you to read with rapt attention.
I recently met a gentleman on my way home on Friday. He seemed troubled, so I decided against my natural instinct to inquire why he looked so dejected. It didn’t take a lot for him to open up. As he started speaking, it was obvious he was a well-read person. He spoke with elocution and in his eyes, you could find the tell tales of a professional, who knew his onions. However, his despair was palpable.
He said to me, what kind of country is this? What sort of hell are we living in? One where you have no sense of right or dignity. How has life become so worthless? Sensing an all too familiar tone, I was ready with my usual comforting speech that all would be well, take it easy, persevere and all what not. In fact, I was about to start counselling him, when he laughed and said “what an irony- this is what I do for a living”. I was surprised. I thought, how is it that one who provides solace for others would find himself needing the same comfort which he gives others? It was then he told me he was a Doctor at Federal Neuro-Psychiatry hospital Yaba. I was shocked. He said the reason he was so down was because having worked for month after month, his employer refused to pay his salary. That this is an ongoing situation, where for about 3 months some Doctors in the hospital have not been receiving their salaries. He has had to borrow so much and he doesn’t see an end in sight. He now doesn’t know how his upkeep will be sustained giving the circumstance.
I decided to dig deeper, because I wanted to be sure this wasn’t some self-promoting venture by the said individual or perhaps, he and his other colleague who are also being owed salary are actually not in violation of any regulations that would see such measures meted out against them. He informed me that the problem concerned newly employed resident Doctors and other employees inclusive. He said that there’s a directive by the Federal Government that staff payments will be done through a new system, which though in existence, hadn’t started working when their predicament started. Some of the former employees who have been captured by this system still have their salaries paid by the hospital management instead of the new system , whereas the management insists that theirs should be paid by this new system. A system where even some of the old staff who have already been captured are still receiving their salaries from the hospital; how much more his set who have just been captured by this new system which might commence paying in December.
I was shocked and asked what their other colleagues who are receiving salary are doing about it. He let me understand that there have been several meetings where they’ve interceded on their behalf, but the management refuses to budge. He said that they have been the support system for most of them all this while, but it’s getting embarrassing and even the others can only do so much; which is why the association representing resident Doctors in the hospital are planning to go on strike should this month salary and arrears not be paid to them.
He said the management is saying their agitation is baseless after all they shouldn’t except salaries until 3 months after resumption in a government establishment. The saddest part isn’t that the hospital cannot afford to pay these Doctors, it’s that the management is insisting that if they use funds given it to pay personnel to pay new personnel and not old ones they might be queried by EFCC.
All this aside, I find it wicked that the hospital administration would have monthly allocation and would choose to pay the salaries of some workers and refuse to pay that of others. He said he heard some rumors that the MD paid 2 newly employed staff from her state, but he can’t confirm this. But this is sheer wickedness. I felt for this man. I imagined myself in his position and how I would feel. It’s absolutely disgraceful what’s happening in this country. We complain that there’s a brain drain in the country and so so numbers of Nigerian Doctors are abroad. Why wouldn’t they be? Why should they not leave? It’s absurd to think of such a thing happening. It was even more surprising to learn that the head of the hospital who is also a Doctor actually sanctioned this. It’s absolutely sickening. I do not have evidence, but this reeks of foul play. The corruption in many government agencies and establishments is quite alarming and considering the coverage those of the political class get; it’s absolutely shameful that this doesn’t receive as much scrutiny. I enjoin you to investigate this story and if possible, publish as a main piece. I cannot disclose the gentleman’s identity in order to protect his privacy, but I’m very sure if you reach out to the right persons in the organisation, you should learn about the situation.
I believe it is my civic and moral duty to bring this to public attention, I hope this terrible act is condemned and those in charge of such be made to answer for their actions. Thank you.