Health workers at the Ebola Treatment Centre in Lagos have asked the Federal and the Lagos State governments to pay their allowances.
According to some of the volunteers who spoke to our correspondent at the Lagos Treatment Centre, on Thursday, they had yet to receive payment for the month of September.
One of them, a nurse who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to be single out for sanction, said the health workers received a message from their coordinators that the state government had given directives that operations at the centre be shut down on Thursday, even when their monies had not been paid.
The nurse said, “We were told last night that they would shut down the centre on Thursday but they did not mention anything about the money they owe us.
“They should settle us because there will be no one to complain to after the centre has been shut down. Everybody is praising Nigeria that it contained Ebola, meanwhile the people that worked are not yet compensated as they should be. We have not even been addressed formally; they just discarded us as if we committed a crime by volunteering.”
While doctors at the Ebola centre receive N50,000 per shift, nurses are paid N40,000.
Our correspondent, who visited the centre on Thursday, observed that the doors were padlocked and there was no visible activity at the time of the visit.
Another volunteer, who is also a nurse called on the Federal Government to address the delay in the payment of their allowances and warned that failure to do so now would discourage people from volunteering in the future.
She said, “Government should be responsible. They promised to give us life insurance; we have not heard anything about that. They said they would give us N1m upfront. They have not. We risked our lives, stigma and our livelihood to work here, the least they can do is to pay us as when due.
“They were always delaying our payment. But if they are going to shut down, they should pay us for what we tirelessly worked for. If not, nobody will answer or volunteer when next they call.”
Calls to the Lagos State Commissioner for Heath, Dr. Jide Idris, were not answered. The commissioner did not also reply text sent to his mobile phone on the matter.