Doctors deny pact with Aregbesola over unpaid salaries
Association of Medical and Dental Officers (OSAMDO) in Osun state has denied that the union entered into an agreement with the state government over non-payment of salaries to members.
The state government is owing workers in the state arrears of salaries of about six months but the association while reacting to a statement allegedly credited to the state government that the group had reached an agreement with government team over the outstanding salaries, described the claim as false.
OSAMDO in a statement by the Chairman and Secretary, Dr. I.A Adekunle and Dr. O.S Subair respectively noted that their members fully supported all actions taken so far by the umbrella body of medical doctors, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) over the issue of non-payment of salaries and other allowances by the state government.
“NMA is an umbrella body for all medical practitioners in private and public service and we will abide with any further directives made in pursuant of improvement in welfare of our members”, OSAMDO said..
The association said a statement by an aide to the state governor that NMA’s appeal to the state to re-evaluate its priorities in the disbursement of resources was not only divisive but also false.
The union gave a breakdown of members unpaid salaries to include 60 per cent November, December 2014 and January, February, March, April and May salaries this year.
While stating that the state government had held several meetings with OSAMDO on the issue of salaries and welfare of members, it noted that members had no pact with the state over the unpaid salaries.
The union said, ‘’If any agreement is going to be reached, it has to be the release of our accumulated seven months salaries and deductions due to the association and to all other civil servants in the state including pensioners.
The association urged the state governor, Rauf Aregbesola to be sincere by showing “more commitment to payment of all the seven months salary to its members including pensioners”.
Meanwhile, Aregbesola has described as another demonstration of ignorance claims by the former Head of Service, Elder Segun Akinwusi, that the unpaid salaries in the state were caused by financial recklessness.
Akinwusi, in a report published in a national daily said the Aregbesola administration had borrowed more than its capacity; stating this explains why the state is unable to pay its workers as at (and) when due.
But in a response the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Semiu Okanlawon, said Akinwusi, as usual, demonstrated once again that he lacks basic knowledge of public finance despite serving at the topmost level of his career before retirement.
He said with the claim, where does the former Head of Service place the verdict by the Debt Management Office under the PDP-led Federal Government which stated last year that Osun’s debt did not exceed what the state could cope with.
“It is not unexpected for the likes of Mr. Akinwusi to want to score cheap popularity and political points with issues of delayed salaries. But his reasons for the delay are wide off the mark for any intelligent rationalisation.
“As Head of Service who had the grace of enjoying Aregbesola’s large heart till his retirement age, has he forgotten that right-thinking people would demand from him what was his contribution to issues (relating to) such loans and bonds before he exited the service.
“The Director General of the Debt Management Office, Dr. Abraham Nwakwo, told the whole world last year that no one can fault Osun’s debt portfolio as the state did not borrow beyond its capacity. What has changed after that?
“For Akinwusi to attribute the unpaid salaries to what he thinks are excessive borrowings merely confirm mischief, ignorance and calculated move to misinform members of the public.”
The state government demanded from Akinwusi where he would place all cases of financial misappropriations being unravelled in the twilight of the Goodluck Jonathan administration, adding that if Aregbesola had borrowed funds, it was only in aggressive pursuit of the good of the generality of the Osun people.