The federal government has disclosed its intention to increase hazard allowance for all health workers in public health establishments in the country.
This was disclosed by the labour minister, Ngige while briefing journalists at the end of a meeting between the presidential committee on salaries (PSC), relevant federal government stakeholders, health professionals association and trade unions on Wednesday in Abuja.
The labour minister called the meeting to discuss the issue of hazard allowance and retirement age for health workers in government establishments.
Ngige said the stakeholders were able to reach fruitful resolutions in the meeting.
“The federal government has moved up from the N5,000 monthly hazard allowance paid to all health workers in Nigeria and now offering 350 percent and 600 percent increments for junior workers and senior workers respectively,” he said.
“The government side led by the minister of state for budget and planning, gave a counter offer 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.”
Ngige said 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.”
The minister also said the federal government has agreed to increase the retirement age of doctors and other health workers from 60 to 65 years and 70 years for consultants.
On April 1, members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) embarked on an indefinite strike to ask that the federal government meet their 10-point demands which include an upward review of the hazard allowance.
The association later suspended its strike on April 10 after signing of a new agreement with the federal government.
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