UCH: Nigeria’s Ombudsman, Lawmaker Intervene In Case Of Workers Left Unpaid For 34 Months 

HumAngle had earlier reported how some non-clinical staff of the University College Hospital in Ibadan, southwestern Nigeria, are left to suffer following the government's failure to pay their salaries from 2021 till date. 

A few days after a HumAngle report revealed the hardship faced by non-clinical staff of the University College Hospital (UCH), a federal teaching hospital under the University of Ibadan, Nigeria’s Ombudsman, the Public Complaints Commission (PCC), has moved to intervene in the matter. 

The hospital staff had earlier told HumAngle they had become beggars as a result of the prolonged non-payment of their salaries. While many are currently displaced, a majority have sold their valuables to be able to feed their families. Despite selling their properties, they still struggle to provide basic necessities at home, however. In fact, some have been declared wanted by loan companies.

Though the frustrated workers had on several occasions met the hospital management, nothing has been done to address their plights. 

But after HumAngle’s publication, officials of the Public Complaints Commission, an agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the Presidency which acts as an Ombudsman that receives complaints of the citizenry against the government have promised to settle the issues surrounding their unpaid salaries.

“After HumAngle’s publication, we received the officials of the public complaints commission at UCH. They told us they read HumAngle’s publication and they are willing to assist us. We explained to them that our arrears are important because of outstanding debts and they promised to work on it and get back to us before the end of year,” said Ayo Adedeji, one of the workers who in our earlier report narrated the difficulties he faced daily to feed his wife and four children despite his role as an accountant at the UCH. 

Adebayo Adepoju, a member of the House of Representatives representing Ibarapa Central and Ibarapa North Federal Constituency on Tuesday, Nov. 7, also filed a petition on behalf of the unpaid employees at the National Assembly. 

Presenting his petition titled: “An appeal to the Honourable House to intervene to right the continuing injustice against employees of the University College (UCH) Ibadan, Oyo State”, Adepoju urged the lawmakers to prevail on authorities to look into why the concerned individuals have not been paid and also with a hope of them getting paid.

“The goal is to ensure that the employees are paid for their service and that they are treated fairly and with maximum respect. This is an important issue, and it is our hope that the House will take necessary action to resolve the matter brought before it,” the lawmaker said.

“We appreciate Nigerians for their support and would urge the media to continue to do a follow-up on our case because it is not over yet. We are grateful for the impact so far, including the petition before the National Assembly,” Adedeji said on behalf of his colleagues. 

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Adejumo Kabir

Kabir works at HumAngle as the Editor of Southern Operations. He is interested in community development reporting, human rights, social justice, and press freedom. He was a finalist in the student category of the African Fact-checking Award in 2018, a 2019 recipient of the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence, and a 2020 recipient of the Thomson Foundation Young Journalist Award. He was also nominated in the journalism category of The Future Awards Africa in 2020. He has been selected for various fellowships, including the 2020 Civic Media Lab Criminal Justice Reporting Fellowship and 2022 International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ) 'In The Name of Religion' Fellowship.

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