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Nigeria to decide on health workers’ hazard allowance next week

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The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said on Monday the Federal Government would make a final decision on the new hazard allowance for health workers next week.

Ngige, according to a statement issued by the Deputy Director of Press in the ministry, Charles Akpan, stated this during a meeting of the Presidential Committee on Salaries with the leadership of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and its affiliates held in his office in Abuja.

The minister said the review of the hazard allowance was part of efforts by the government to check brain drain in the health sector.

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 (JOHESU) covering other professional unions in the health sector has done the same and over time, we have had various associations write us at one time or the other, which is allowed in Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs).

“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.

READ ALSO: Nigerian govt to meet with health workers over payment of hazard allowances

“We are putting the final touch on the review of the hazard allowance and also vigorously pursuing the issue of Group Life Insurance. Besides, there is compensation for injuries sustained by any worker in the course of work through the Employee Compensation Act, ECA, handled by the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF).

“We intend in the 2022 fiscal year to make it a very universal item or application for all classes of workers including health workers.”

The NMA President, Dr. Innocent Ujah, who admitted that they made mistakes at the start of the discussion on the hazard allowances, expressed happiness that the matter had been resolved.

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