Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has said that the Buhari-led government has spent N15.8 billion on hazard allowances in teaching hospitals and medical centres across the country.
Ngige disclosed this while addressing newsmen at a meeting with the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) leadership in Abuja on Monday, July 27. The Resident Doctors over the weekend, threatened to go on another warning start in August if their needs which includes payment of their hazard allowance, provision of PPEs and others, are not met.
At the meeting which was held to assess the level of implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered by both parties, Ngige said the federal government was committed to the safety and welfare of all health workers in the country.
“The federal government has so far spent N15.8 billion naira for hazard allowances in its teaching hospitals, medical centres and some other non- COVID-19 facilities where doctors have also been treating virus cases.
Government has cleared the April and May special allowances which is no doubt a big feat, knowing that this is for special allowances only, and at a time its earning has fallen short of the expected earning.
The affected medical personnel will also draw their normal salaries and other allowances,” he said.
Ngige added that the June allowances for the medical practitioners were still outstanding because the budget has been affected by some other demands that were not originally captured such as payment for house officers, interns, NYSC doctors and volunteers. He, however, added that government was already liaising with the Presidential Taskforce to sort out payments especially for volunteers.
The Minister also disclosed at the meeting that the government has paid all the premium for Group Life Insurance spanning between April 17, 2020, and April 16, 2021 for all federal civil servants except those in the revenue-generating agencies such as customs, FIRS and NNPC who could afford their own insurance. He said an agreement has been reached to forward the nominal roll of the Health Ministry workers and its parastatals to the six handling insurance companies latest next week for payments.