Some casual workers on Monday locked the entrance to the permanent site of Federal Medical Centre, Apir, Makurdi, for more than an hour over nonpayment of two years salaries.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the workers comprising security guards and cleaners embarked on the action between 8 a.m. and 9:27 a.m.
NAN gathered that the protesters agreed to re-open the entrance after an emergency meeting with some management staff in the hospital.
NAN reports that this was the third time workers were protesting over nonpayment of salaries.
Speaking to newsmen, Anijaba Mtomga, a security supervisor, said that the workers decided to close the hospital’s gate because the management was not ready to pay them.
Mtomga said: “Even though we understand that the hospital provides essential services to the people and we have exercise patients and understanding with the management. We cannot continue like this. We also have families and responsibilities.’’
He, however, disclosed that the management has promised to do something about the issue within the next two weeks.
James Akase, the cleaners’ Supervisor, told newsmen that they have an outstanding of nine months salaries, adding that the situation was “really tough for them”.
However, speaking on behalf of the management, Moses Atime, a Deputy Director, Nursing Services, confirmed that there was a problem with the payment of the outsource staff at the centre.
Atime said: “The management is aware of this particular issue and all hands are on deck to resolve the issue.
“Already the Managing Director is on his way to Abuja to meet with the Ministry over the same issue.
“The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Health and Human Services is responsible for their payment. They are not on our payroll.”
Also, the Deputy Head of Clinical Services FMC, Makurdi, and Apir Site Coordinator, Dr Matthew Ocheifu said that the nonpayment of salaries to the outsource workers had posed a serious security challenge at the centre.
Ocheifu explained that workers needed a secured and peaceful environment to render effective and quality healthcare services, adding that the situation at the moment has affected the hospital service delivery.
He said: “In any organisation security is paramount because if we don’t have peace we cannot settle down and deliver the services we supposed to deliver.
“This has really affected us in terms of service delivery.”