Oyo nurses threaten to embark on indefinite strike, issue 14-day ultimatum

The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives in Oyo state have threatened to embark on an indefinite strike if their requests are not met.

They issued a two-week ultimatum to the state government.

In a letter addressed to Governor Seyi Makinde‘s led government on May 2, 2024, the council expressed their decision after a meeting held on Tuesday to discuss issues related to the well-being and career advancement of nurses employed by the state government.

The letter, titled ‘Notification of 14 days ultimatum,’ was signed by the council’s Chairman, Adeyemi Samuel, and Secretary, Aina Emmanuel.

The nurses’ demands include addressing staff shortages, rectifying incorrect promotion dates on letters, and implementing the adjusted Consolidated Health Salary Structure, among other issues.

The ultimatum, which began on May 2, 2024, will conclude on May 21, 2024. If their demands are not met, the indefinite strike will commence at midnight on May 22, 2024.

Nigeria is currently witnessing a significant outflow of healthcare professionals, including nurses and midwives, due to factors such as inadequate compensation, escalating insecurity, insufficient diagnostic facilities, unfavourable working conditions, and economic challenges.

In October 2023, Michael Nnachi, the President of NANNM, informed journalists that on a weekly basis, nurses and midwives submit applications to the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, seeking either to depart the country or be relieved of their responsibilities.

During the period of 2017 to 2022, Nnachi stated that more than 57,000 nurses migrated from Nigeria in search of better opportunities overseas.

As a result of this significant exodus, the remaining nurses are burdened with excessive workloads.

The Nurses and Midwives’ letter to Governor Makinde reads: “It’s pertinent to note that all these issues have been for a very long time, and several letters have been written for the government to come to our aid without a positive response. Hence, we would be compelled to commence an indefinite strike at the expiration of our ultimatum if the following requests/prayers are not granted.

“Our prayers include – Mass recruitment of Nurses and Midwives/Nurse Educator into Hospitals Management Board, Primary Health Care Board, the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Ogbomosho and Oyo State College of Nursing Sciences, Eleyele, Ibadan, to address the gross shortage of staff to improve health care delivery in the state.

“Correction of the wrong notional date on the promotion letters issued to our members. Adoption and implementation of the 25 per cent CONHESS adjustment circular for Nurses and Midwives working with the Oyo State Government.

“Financial implementation of 2018 to 2022 promotion for Nurses and Midwives working in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Ogbomosho. Adoption and implementation of Enhanced Hazard Allowances for Nurses and Midwives Working in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Ogbomosho, Oyo State College of Nursing Eleyele-Ibadan, Oyo State College of Health Technology Eleyele-Ibadan and Primary Health Care Development Board/LGA.”

Furthermore, they are requesting the introduction and execution of horizontal conversion/career advancement for Nurses and Midwives on GL12 and higher who hold nursing science degree certificates, the release of unpaid January/February 2011 salaries to nurses awaiting payment, and the provision of uniform allowance to all Nurses and Midwives employed by Oyo state following public service regulations.

“If all the aforementioned prayers are not met within 14 working days, the State Executive Council of NANNM will have no option than to direct her members to proceed on indefinite strike till when all these demands are met,” the letter added.

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