The Federal Government on Thursday disclosed that arrangement has been concluded to pay the June allowance of medical workers in the country.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige gave the assurance when he received members of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, who paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.
Ngige, who said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has done well in all ramifications, noted that a lot of money has been spent in health sector, especially during the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged the whole world.
The Minister lamented that the successive governments have neglected the health sector, asserting that the current administration has taken it upon itself to ensure that the right things were done to protect the lives of the Nigerian citizens.
On some of the requests tendered by the President of NMA for consideration, Ngige stated that the Ministry of Labour and Employment will collaborate with the Ministry of Health to see that something was done to meet their requests.
Earlier in an address, President of the NMA, Prof. Innocent A. O. Ujah thanked the Minister for his tremendous input and extraction of commitment from President Buhari which led to the payment of COVID-19 hazard allowance.
Ujah, however called the attention of the government to consider some of the health care workers that have not been captured, such as the National Association of Doctors in University Health Services, NADUHS, MEDSABAMS, National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners, NAGGMDP among others.
He said, “We also request that you use your good offices as a former Executive Governor to request the state Governors to follow suit and expedite action towards the payment of the 3rd month of June.
“The 2nd batch of 3 months has to be seriously considered as it has become obvious that the COVID-19 pandemic is not receding too soon. It is on this light we request that we should start discussing a permanent solution to the Health care workers hazard allowance.
“We wish to further request the need to put your weight to a stroger and sricker implementation of the agreement reachedwith the Federal Government, which includes: Residency Training Actand Funding, collaboration with the Ministry of Health towards achieving sustainable insurance cover for Nigerian workers and Healthcare workers in particular.
“Others are payment of minimum wage arrears, continued provision of protective equipment for Health workers, lobbying for the presidential accent to the mandatory Health Insurance bill passed by the National Assembly, increase in the retirement age for consultants of special grade 1 to be 70 years while the other doctors will be 65 years”
Ngige said other issues as regard to the COVID-19 allowance and other related matters would be discussed in their next meeting on Thursday.