FG, final decision on new hazard allowance
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige revealed that Federal Government will take its final decision on the proposed new hazard allowance for health workers next week.
Ngige disclosed this in his office during a meeting of the Presidential Committee on Salaries with the leadership of the Nigeria Medical Association and its affiliates on Monday.
The meeting deliberated on the review of the hazard allowance, the NMA position on the retention of the Medical and Dental Consultants’ Association of Nigeria and Medical and Dental Doctors in Academics members on the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure and removal of National Youth Service Corps doctors/interns from the scheme of service and the presentation by the Federal Ministry of Health and Office of the Head of Service of the Federation on the upward review of retirement age for medical/health workers.
Addressing the participants, Ngige said the government had a good interface with the medical association, though the issue prolonged for nine months.
He described the review of the hazard allowance as part of the efforts of the government to make people in the medical and health system happy and have confidence in the sector, thereby stemming the tide of brain drain.
According to him, with all the materials now at their disposal, they have decided that the government would come out with a position in the next one week, to lay the matter to rest.
He said, “We have collected all the raw materials needed to do the work. You have been very supportive. You have given us positions. The Joint Health Sector Unions covering other professional unions in the health sector has done same and over time, we have had various associations write us at one time or the other, which is allowed in Collective Bargaining Agreements.
“Even CBAs can be changed over time. What you people did is in consonance with the social dialogue on fixing wages and allowances. On the government side, we are giving you our commitment that this is the last meeting on this matter. After this meeting, the government will study the proposals and make our recommendations, which will go to Mr. President for final approval.”
A statement by the spokesman Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan titled, FG to decide on hazard allowance for health workers next week, added that “Ngige reiterated the earlier position of the government that the present hazard allowance of N5,000 was not meaningful for people working in a hazardous environment, such as health workers.”