Kenneth Madiebo is not looking for a worldwide recognition for helping stop the spread of Ebola in Nigeria in 2014: he just wants to be paid.
Nearly three years after the epidemic, Dr. Madiebo and six of his colleagues sue the government for what they consider to be their due, 36 months of arrears of wages equivalent to nearly 375,000 euros.
He who risked his life on the front line, welcoming the infected patients at the Ebola emergency center in Lagos, does not understand how things got there.
“We all agree that we did our job very well. We managed everything, ” the public health specialist told AFP.
His case is not isolated: social conflicts have multiplied in the public sector.
The staff of dozens of state and federal universities went on strike in mid-August for non-payment of compensation dating back to 2009. Doctors in public hospitals are trying to put pressure on the government to implement an agreement to pay unpaid wages since 2013.
By 2015, the salaries of civil servants (all sectors) in 30 of the 36 states were out of date, while the West African economic giant was plunging into the recession after falling world crude oil prices.
The Ministry of Finance said in June that 12 local administrations still had to pay their staff (one to nine months’ salary) despite a government bailout of 760 billion naira (1.7 billion euros).
Last December, the women’s football team also organized a march in front of Parliament, claiming that they had not been paid after winning the African Cup of Nations.