The Federal Government has approved two months’ hazard allowance for health workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at a meeting between representatives of the Federal Government and Health Professional Associations, the Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said the hazard allowance for the months of April and May would be paid before Friday, June 12, 2020.
The decision, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Labour and Employment on Tuesday, was part of the agreement reached between the Federal Government representatives led by the minister and representatives of the health sector workers.
Ngige said the urgent approval granted by the President, Major General Muhammed Buhari (retd), was in appreciation of efforts of the health workers risking their lives on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19.
Ngige said, “We reviewed all, and also reviewed all the emoluments that we are to give these gallant workers who are at the frontline taking the risk for all of us and the Federal government side has given them the financial implication of what they have done.
He said, “We have fixed a timeline for ourselves that before the end of this week, the health workers captured in that particular COVID-19 net and frontline workers should get all their hazard and inducement allowances for the month of April and May before the close of the week.”
He added that the decision on the commencement of the implementation of the allowances was reached along with the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, and the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.
Ngige explained that the Federal Government had approved insurance coverage for the health workers, adding that the gesture was in consonance with the memorandum of understanding signed between the Federal Government representatives, the health professionals and unions in the health sector on April 21, 2020.
In his remarks, the Minister of State, Health, Senator Olorunimbe Mamora, said the ministry would ensure the provision of PPE’s to various hospitals.
Present at the meeting were the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo; Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris; Ag. Chairman, National Salary and Wages Commission, Eyo Nta; Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, William Alo; Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Health, A.M Abdullahi.
Also present were National President, Joint Health Employees Sector Union, Biobelemoye Josiah; President, National Union of Allied Health Professional, O.C Ogbonna and Secretary-General, Nigerian Medical Association, Dr Ekpe Philips. – Punch.