Lagos State governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday said striking doctors in the state resorted to industrial action amid every other option available to them because of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the state.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed this while fielding questions from journalists at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, where he commemorated year 2020
Tree planting day and also commissioned a 36 chamber Morgue donated to the state government by IHS Towers.
The governor who dedicated the exercise with the theme: “Tree for Life”, to all health and emergency workers on the frontline of the state’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic, said the major issue that led to doctor’s strike in the state had been resolved saying it is all due to inadequate communication and understanding.
Sanwo-Olu explained that the major issue at stake was the yet to be paid May and June additional COVID-19 allowance which has now been paid, adding that the allowance was his initiative, “because we wanted to show leadership at the outbreak of the pandemic.”
The governor further explained that the cause of the delay in payment was because the government had to do enumeration to ensure that only those that are supposed to receive the allowances got it.
According to him, the COVID-19 additional allowance is different from hazard allowance which the government had earlier increased by 400 per cent for all health workers. He added that the COVID-19 additional allowance was for only frontline workers at the isolation centres.
The governor pointed out that the need for enumeration cropped up when it became an all comers affair which was becoming a drain on the state’s coffers.
“It is rather unfortunate that my workers whom I love so dearly would take this very unexpected line to appeal their grievances.
“It is rather unfair and unfortunate that any of us especially them at this time would want to take an opportunistic approach because of the pandemic crisis we are going through, I think it is rather unfortunate and I think it is utterly condemnable,” he said.
He, however, urged the striking doctors to return to work in the interest of the state. “And I think I owe the system as the chief incident commander, to express and to say to you that come back to work, I am still your governor, resume back to work and whatever the issues are we will sort it out.”