Six weeks after a street sweeper, Folasade Ogunniyi, was knocked into a lagoon in Lagos State while performing her duty on the Third Mainland Bridge, family of the deceased is yet to receive the promised N45,000 compensation by the Highway Manager, which was her three months salary.
Ogunniyi’s body was recovered from the lagoon underneath the bridge on Friday, August 23, three days after she was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Until her death, the late sweeper, a mother of three, was employed by Highway Managers, an environment sanitation firm working in collaboration with the Lagos State government.
Before her death, she was earning N15,000 per month from the company, an amount even less than the outgone minimum wage of N18,000. To compensate her family for the loss and service she rendered for the 24 months of her engagement, Highway Manager said the family will be paid a meager N45,000, which represents her three months salary.
But Ogunniyi’s husband in a chat with The Guardian lamented the shoddy treatment meted out to her deceased wife. “I was always going there (the office) and I kept being asked to come back. They (High Manager) told us that they are working on her death certificate and some other things. When it is ready, they said the insurance will be paid, but I have since resigned to fate,” he said.
Highway Manager’s head at Rowe Park, Yaba, Lagos, Rotimi Sotanmi, in his reaction, told our correspondent: “We have communicated with the family and we are doing our part. The agreement is that we will continue paying her salary (N15,000) for three months.”
Sotanmi, however, told The Guardian that an unnamed insurance company had all the details and was working on making a substantial payment to the family. “It is whenever they are through with it that the family can get it (insurance).”
On the day of the accident, Ogunniyi had left her house in Oworonsoki area of Lagos at about 5:30a.m. to her duty post, the ever-busy Third Mainland Bridge to sweep, her husband narrated.
“Some of the people that saw the incident said she was even yet to start work when the accident happened. She was still placing cones when a certain Honda vehicle ran at her and hit her to the lagoon.”
She has since been buried. But there are no indications that she and others who sweep one of Nigeria’s busiest bridges are insured despite the inherent danger in the job.