The Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria in Kogi state on Tuesday, threatened industrial action over the decision of the state government to outsource their services.
Apart from the strike action, the union also raised the alarm over the security threat posed by the proposed privatisation of the services.
The state chairman of the union in the state, Comrade Onuh Edoka, who said this at it stakeholders meeting held at Lokoja, the state capital, however urged government to rescind its decision on the matter.
According to him, the issue became imperative as the state government had concluded plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a private organisation to carry out the duties of environmental health officers.
He said rather than outsourcing the services, government should look inward and allow the environmental health officers across the 21 local government areas of the state to perform their duties.
The union chairman stated that members of the union were able and capable to deliver if the right atmosphere is made available to them.
Edoka noted that government was responsible for the shortcomings and non performance in the sector, adding that government had failed to provide working tools for the people.
He said, “Today government is jumping to leave the professional that are trained and qualified to do the job and outsource people to come and do their job for them, which is completely wrong, in the practice of the profession we have trained environmental health officers in Kogi that can do the job but in the quest of government they want to bring people in through the back door to provide these services to tax Kogi people to pay heavy, it is completely wrong.
“The people government are bringing in are not trained professional, when you bring these people in with the security situation in the country today, introducing people that are not on payroll of government to others compounds, employing people that are alien to do house-to-house inspection, premises inspection is wrong”.
He added that premises inspection is the function of the local government and not the state government, saying workers might be forced to seek legal action in the matter.