From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The federal government has agreed to raise hazard allowance for all health workers in public health institutions in Nigeria.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, disclosed this to journalists after a meeting between the presidential committee on salaries (PSC), relevant federal government stakeholders, health professionals association and trade in Abuja on Wednesday.
Ngige revealed that the federal government has moved up from the N5,000 monthly hazard allowance paid to all health workers in Nigeria to now 350 percent and 600 percent increments for junior workers and senior workers respectively.”
“The government side led by the minister of state for budget and planning gave a counteroffer to the earlier submissions made by the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and affiliate associations and the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU).
“The Government side gave them that offer based on the realities that we have on ground, that the economy is not doing very well and the capital component of the budget is actually being funded on borrowing. The earnings of the government have also drastically gone down.
“So, they are going back to their people with the government offer and they asked for two weeks adjournment to enable them to conclude consultation with their members and report back to us.”
According to Ngige, they agreed that the offers should be left as they are until both parties go back for consultations with their members and return in two weeks’ time for further negotiations.
“But we moved from the N5000 hazard allowance per month, which was long forgotten until COVID-19 struck. During COVID-19, the government spent about N31billion for three months,” he said.
“So, I think the government side has offered things that are very reasonable, increasing the former positions of junior and senior health workers.”