The Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has given automatic employment to over 200 graduating students of the Lagos State College of Health Technology.
The governor, who is the Visitor of the college, made the declaration during his address at the second convocation ceremony of the institution in Yaba, Lagos, on Thursday.
Fashola in his address reminded the students of the importance of their profession to society.
He said, “Health workers, from the lowest to the highest, are like gods on earth. If you have not been ill before, you will not understand their importance. I have been ill, so I know what I am talking about.”
He wondered why health practitioners, whose primary duty was to save lives, should embark on industrial action.
“Health practice is a call to service, service to God and the community. If you are like gods on earth, why then should you go on strike? Imagine if God goes on strike. Imagine if the police, military or fire service should go on strike.
“Take the police for example – it is not as if all is well with them. You (the graduates) must make a choice between self and saving lives. You should endeavour to put your patients, whose life you are supposed to save, into consideration.”
On the issue of full autonomy for the institution earlier raised by the Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council, Dr. Abiola Tilley-Gyado, Fashola said he would welcome any proposal that would ease the state government’s burden of having to concern itself with the daily affairs of schools.
He, however, cautioned that autonomy did not mean that the government would cede ownership of the institution.
This, according to him, is because the government in most cases would still be called upon, if any problem should arise.
The Chairman of the college’s Governing Council had earlier advised the graduands to be dedicated to their profession, so as not to waste the many years of training they had received.
The College graduated a total of 265 students from five schools namely, Environmental Health, Community Health, Medical Laboratory Technician, Pharmacy Technician and Health Information Management.
The graduands are for the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 academic sessions.