In a bid to redress the incessant industrial action by health workers, the Federal Government has made an offer to increase hazard allowance for all health workers in government health establishments in the country.
This was confirmed by the Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige during a news briefing in Abuja on Wednesday at the end of a meeting between the Presidential Committee on Salaries(PSC), relevant Federal Government Stakeholders and the Health Professional Association and Trade Unions.
The meeting was convened at Ngige’s request in order to discuss the issue of hazard allowance and retirement age for health sector workers in the government health establishments.
During his remarks, Ngige said, ”The Federal Government has moved up from the N5,000 monthly hazard allowance paid to all health workers in Nigeria and now offering 350 per cent and 600 per cent increments for junior workers and senior workers respectively.
”The government side led by the Minister of State for Budget and Planning gave a counteroffer 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, “he said.
He added that they agreed that the offers should be left as it is until both parties go back for consultations with their members and return in two weeks’ time for further negotiations.
Ngige also noted that the Federal Government has agreed in principle to increase the retirement age of doctors and other health workers from 60 to 65 years and 70 years for consultants.
By Mayowa Oladeji
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