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Abia hospital workers protest against unpaid salaries

By Gordi Udeajah, Umuahia
26 November 2021   |   2:48 am
Workers of the Abia Hospital Management Board (AHMB), yesterday, protested against non-payment of their 19 monthly salary arrears at the Umuahia Office on Aba Road.

[FILES] Naira

Workers of the Abia Hospital Management Board (AHMB), yesterday, protested against non-payment of their 19 monthly salary arrears at the Umuahia Office on Aba Road.

The protesters, who carried various placards to demand payment of the outstanding arrears, condemned the scenario, just as they blocked one lane of the Aba Road near their office thereby causing heavy traffic snarl between the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Umuahia and the Golden Guinea Breweries.

Speaking to reporters in front of the gate, Chairman of Allied Action Committee of the Hospital Management Board, Comrade Chikezie Echeta, said they staged the protest because they were owed 19 months salary arrears and were bent on drawing Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s attention to their plight.

Speaking, Chairperson of the AHMB Chapter of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Mary Nwokoma, decried the state government’s refusal to pay them despite signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the matter with a pledge to pay as soon as possible

She lamented that the state government reneged on the agreement.

Also speaking, comrades Dave Otuiheneme and Mbanaso Ifeanyi, appealed to the Abia State Government to pay them their salary arrears, saying that most workers were in deep pain and agony due to the non-payment of their salaries.

The workers are among other employees of the state ministries, agencies, departments and boards of establishments being owed salary arrears.

However, the state government had explained that by the law establishing them as revenue generation concerns, they should use part of the revenue generated to pay workers salaries, while the government gives them subventions to augment their operations.

The government affirmed that it had been keeping to its own part of the bargain, saying the scenario was not the same as the case of core civil servants, stressing that the state government was directly responsible for the payment of their salaries.