Lagos State COVID-19 workers in distress as Governor Sanwo-Olu owes N42million allowances since June

COVID-19 health workers who were brought in as volunteers with the Lagos State BioBank are currently in distress going by the failure of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to pay their N42million allowances since June 2022.

The workers in separate interviews noted that despite repeated requests to the authorities, the state government had been unresponsive to their issue and had made several failed promises.

In an effort to synchronise data from public and private testing centres and control the billing of patients who are paying for their tests, the state government of Lagos launched the Lagos Biobank platform with support from Sterling Bank Plc.

The platform’s goals are to ensure equitable access, accelerated testing, and improved case management for all residents of the state.

One of the volunteer workers said the state government might have released the money but corrupt officials might be delaying the payment, while calling on the governor to wade into their matter.

He said, “There are about 30 COVID-19 volunteer workers employed by the state government. We had meeting on the 8th of July and we were asked to stop (working). They said they would pay up to the 8th of July which they did not pay – that is, for six months. That time, they promised us that within one to two weeks, they would pay all the money. But since then, they are not responding to us again.”

The worker added that the government was owing each worker about N1.4million.

“We are all expecting the same thing. They supposed to pay around 1.4 million per person.

“Some of us even went to the authorities to complain that they did not have money to take care of their family. The only thing they keep saying is that they are on it,” he added.

Another worker lamented how the non-payment of the allowances had badly affected his family.

“My family members are suffering. The landlord is about to throw us out. For January to June that we worked, we have not received any dime from the Lagos State government. This is not fair for an administration that is seeking a second term,” he said.

A meeting was held in July between the workers and the representatives of the state government, the Director of Biobank, Dr Bamudele Mutiu, and the consultant incident manager, Dr Saka who promised that the money would be paid in two weeks’ time.

“Some even went on to complain to them at that meeting that they did not have money to take care of their family. The only thing the representatives of the state government said was that they were on it. Till now, we have not seen anything,” one of the workers added.


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