MEDICAL doctors operating in Lagos State have rejected the new minimum wage regime introduced by the state government describing it as wholly inadequate and incapable of meeting the demands of workers.
This year, Nigeria approved an increase in the minimum wage, increasing it to N30,000 ($82.40) a month from the previous figure of N18,000. In Lagos State, the government has agreed to introduce the new regime and added a further Lagos weighting of N5,000 to it, bringing the sum total to N35,000 a month.
However, the cost of living in Lagos is particularly high compared with the rest of the country, meaning that what is a living wage in the rest of the country is not acceptable in the state. As a result the Medical Guild in L:agis has rejected the new minimum wage, saying it is below the expectations of civil servants.
Dr Babajide Saheed, the chairman of the guild, said that not only was the new minimum wage unacceptable, the Guild was not part of the negotiations which was communicated to government. He called for the exemption of tax for on-call doctors, saying it would lighten the burden on members of the guild as was the practice during the administration of former governor Bola Tinubu.
“You cannot be talking about our salary when we are not there and when workers started receiving their salaries over the weekend, they were disappointed and unhappy. Not only the doctors but generally, all the civil servants because the increment was unimaginable and short of expectations,” Dr Saheed added.
He also called for a review in the retirement age of medical doctors to 65 years, adding that the same had been done for teachers. Furthermore, according to the chairman, to address issues of shortage of medical personnel, replacement of staff should be done in phases, with about 25% done by the end of 2019.