-Protest poor working conditions
The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM )Lagos State Chapter, has declared a 3-day warning strike following the alleged insensitivity of Lagos State Government to their plights.
The strike is to commence 8 AM on Monday 10 January 2022.
The State Chairman, Comrade Julius Awojide made the declaration at an emergency Congress, held by the association on Friday, at the NANNM Secretariat, Ikeja, with over 1000 public hospitals nurses in attendance.
In a press release issued to pressmen at the Congress, members of the association highlighted their grievances against the government due to the inconducive working condition of nurses in the state, which has attracted massive brain drain in the profession for the last three years.
According to the statement, the Congress disclosed that: ” More than 496 out of 2350 nurses in the employ of Lagos State Health Service Commission left between 2019 and 2021 and with less than 15 per cent due to statutory retirement.
“Over 200 nurses left the services of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital within the same period. Over 80 nurses left Primary Healthcare Board within the last two years which has only abut 700 hundreds nurses and midwives”.
They maintained that it is obvious nurses are not getting job satisfaction in the state which is evidenced from the migration rate of the nurses. In fact, the nurses stated that the state is presently grappling with getting professional nurses to replace the exited ones, as the government only got 300 nurses for the 500 nurses vacancies it announced.
“Out of the 500 vacancies approved for recruitment by the Lagos State Governor for the Health Service Commission recently, less than 300 applied. This is a country with 33.2 per cent unemployment rate. It is certain far much less would actually take the job. LASUTH experienced the same fate in its own recruitment and it will be same for the Primary Healthcare Board when it starts its recruitment”. they asserted.
The list of their demands include: Resolving the acute shortage of nurses and midwives, retention of incentives to arrest turnover rate, proper consolidation of CONHESS Salary Structure and improved working conditions.
Speaking with Pharmanewsonline in a chat shortly after the Congress, the Chairman, Comrade Awojide said it’s not their wishes to abandon their duty posts, but it became imperative after several meetings they have held with government representatives have failed to yield any positive result.
Asked if the warming strike will last for the proposed three days, he said nothing is impossible if government swiftly respond to their agitations, the strike might not last for the proposed duration and vice versa.
The aggrieved nurses, who displayed all sorts of placards to express their grievances, particularly revealed their vexation with Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu, saying he has not visited or yielded their calls since his emergence as the governor.
For the PRO, Lagos NANNM, Comrade Adenike Akila, Governor Sanwo-Olu has not done well with nurses. “We have been on these things for the past three years. Attrition state of nurses, graduate nurses are not properly positioned. The cadre graduate nurses are placed is very appalling, in comparism to other professionals. The working condition is bad, remuneration nothing, hazard allowances poor.
“Although it was said that governor has approved some of these for nurses but we are not getting them. So we have made up our minds that we will take the bull by the horn to take what belongs to us. The governor has not granted us any audience, not even courtesy visit for his last three years in office. So we want to tell him that we are relevant stakeholders in the state”.
Another nurse at the protest, Ayobami by name also vented his annoyance against the governor saying : “Mr Sanwo-Olu has been hiding away from nurses. Only doctors can’t vote him next time. You are just here to witness what is ging to happen. Our ‘mumu don do’. We are battle ready, because we can’t be intimidated with no work no pay syndrome. Just know it that UK is expecting us, Canada is waiting for us also, if Lagos State is not ready to do the needful”.
Addressing the aggrieved nurses, Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour Matters, Mr Williams Babatunde , appealed to the nurses to be patient with the state government as they are aware of all their struggles and are already working on improving their working conditions, but it may take a little while for thorough changes to take place.
He assured them that he will express their all agitations to him, as demonstrated optimism that the government will swing into action immediately to rectify the issues with the nurses.