Lagos nurses begin 3-day warning strike from Monday over govt's insensitivity

…Union says congress must hold to stop action   

By Chioma Obinna

To avert the looming industrial action by the Lagos State chapter of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, the Lagos State Government on Sunday met with the aggrieved nurses in a last-minute effort to stop the three-day warning strike of the Association.

The Lagos NANNM had proposed a three-day warning strike billed to begin today (Monday) over poor remuneration and general working conditions in the state’s health sector.

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In a reaction, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbegba Omotoso, promised that the government would do everything possible to stop the strike.

“The state government has met with them; another meeting is going to take place this evening (Sunday). From what I have learnt, the government will treat them well and make them smile.

“We do not believe any part of the health sector should be left unattended to. We will continue to engage them so that there is no disruption to the system.

“As we are building infrastructure, we are also building human capacity. We’ve done a lot for them in terms of training and welfare. If they say these are not enough, they are our people, we will listen to them. All efforts will be made to solve the issues amicably,” he noted.

However, the move may not stop the Association from calling out its members to down tools as planned, according to the Secretary of the Lagos NANNM, Mr Toba Odumosu.

“The strike will commence on Monday as planned irrespective of the meeting with the state government. There is no way we can stop the strike this evening (Sunday). We need a congress to call it off and we can’t do that until Monday,” Odumosu noted.

The State’s body of nurses had earlier stated that the warning strike was necessary after taking stock of the numerous challenges of nurses in the State and all the unresolved issues before the government that were causing incalculable suffering to their members and inevitably, the public.

The strike, it was stated, was to let the government know that nurses would no longer be overworked, undervalued, and underpaid without consequence.

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