COVID-19: How FG spent N15.8bn on hazard allowances ― Ngige

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The Federal Government says it has so far spent N15.8 billion on hazard allowances in its teaching hospitals and medical centres across the country. Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, disclosed this while addressing newsmen at a meeting with the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) leadership on Monday in Abuja.

The meeting was held to assess the level of implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered by both parties and to avert strike threat by health workers. Ngige said a resolution has been reached and all disputes resolved, assuring that the federal government was committed to health workers’ safety and welfare. “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. The minister further said that the June allowances were still outstanding because the budget has been affected by developments not originally captured, such as pay for house officers, interns, NYSC doctors and volunteers. He, however, added that government was already liaising with the Presidential Taskforce to sort out especially for volunteers. Ngige also said that the 20 per cent top-up for all health personnel inside the COVID-19 wards and isolation centres of the hospitals should be effected as quickly as possible.