Chris Ngige: ‘Health workers got N15.8b hazard pay in four months’

The Federal Government has spent N15.8 billion on hazard allowance for health workers, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said on Monday.

The sum, paid between February and May, was for workers in federal teaching hospitals, federal medical centres and some non-COVID-19 hospitals where the virus is treated.

The minister added that the Federal Government has cleared the April/May special allowances.

“At a time government earning has fallen short of the expected earning, the affected medical personnel will also draw their normal salaries and other allowances,” he said.

The minister acknowledged that the June allowances were still outstanding because the budget has been eaten into by certain developments, such as pay for house officers, interns, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) doctors as well as volunteers.

Ngige spoke during a meeting with the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) and the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) in Abuja.

Also at the meeting were Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunimbe Mamora, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, William Alo, representatives of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, among others.

In a statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, Ngige said all contending issues between the government and the resident doctors had been resolved.

The meeting agreed that the 20 per cent top-up for all health personnel in COVID wards and isolation centres should be effected as quickly as possible.

A directive was given to the Ministry of Health and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to reconcile all matters relating to this by August 4 to enable an urgent payment.

Ngige said the Federal Government has paid all the premium for group life insurance spanning April 17 to April 16, 2021, for all federal civil servants except those in the revenue-generating agencies who can afford their insurance.

The minister urged trade unions and associations to desist from reporting industrial disputes to the National Assembly.

He said industrial disputes are to be resolved through in-house mechanisms and the Labour ministry.

NMA General Secretary, Dr Phillips Uche Ekpe, said the National Assembly sometimes invites the workers’ unions.

“We don’t report to the National Assembly. They usually call us when the media write about our struggle,” he said.

NARD President, Aliyu Sokomba, praised the Federal Government for its commitment to workers’ welfare, and expressed hope that more progress would be made when they meet again on August 6.



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Chris Ngige: ‘Health workers got N15.8b hazard pay in four months’ Chris Ngige: ‘Health workers got N15.8b hazard pay in four months’ Reviewed by Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah on July 28, 2020 Rating: 5

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