Highway managers, midwives protest at Lagos Assembly
MANY highway managers and midwives in Lagos yesterday stormed the State House of Assembly over non-payment of salary arrears by the state government.
The protesters, who came in groups lamented backlog of unpaid salaries and its attendant hardship on their families. While the midwives said they were being owed more than a year salary, the managers (who sweep the roads in the metropolis) said they were owed between three to five months.
A member of the highway sweepers, Yemisi Oresanwo, said that since they had been transferred from Ministry of the Environment (MoE) to Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), she had not been paid and life has been difficult for her and her family.
It was gathered that there are seven zones handling sweeping of highways in the state with each zone owing several months salary. Monthly take home pay for each manager is N12,000, while their supervisors get N20,000.
The protesters said they had lodged complaints to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and she had promised to look into their demands.
Oresanwo, who is a supervisor for Ikeja zone said, “Like for me as a supervisor, I’m being owed five months salaries. Others are being owed three or four months.
So, we want government to come to our aid. “Since the time we have been transferred from MoE to LAWMA, the latter had been responsible for payment of our salaries until recently when they refuse to pay us.”
According to her, “LAWMA has been paying their own workers but has neglected us. “They explained that LAWMA management said ministry of the environment is owing them, that is the reason they would not pay.”
Also speaking, Abidemi Najeem said they had been enduring the difficulty, but the situation has worsened since his children are to resume new academic session later this month. Najeem, representing Jibowu-Fadeyi zone, said they had been transferred since 2013 to LAWMA, adding that, “we want the government to state categorically whether we are under LAWMA or MoE.”
Speaking on behalf of Midwives Service Scheme (MSS), Beatrice Ajayi explained that they belong to umbrella body for midwives in Nigeria.
According to her, they were deployed by the Federal Government to Lagos State, adding that while the Federal Government has been paying its percentage as part of the agreement, Lagos State government has refused to honour its own part. “This is not the first time we have protested.
When we protested last year, they paid 2014 arrears but left 2013 unpaid. We find it difficult to go to work, as we can’t afford the transport fares,” she said.
A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Bisi Yusuff, who addressed the protesters on behalf of the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, appealed to the protesters to remain calm. According to him, “the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, is not in the habit of owing salaries,” as he assured that the matter would be adequately addressed.