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Lagos defends N5,000 hazard allowance for firefighters, health workers, others

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LAGOS State government has defended the sum of N5000 hazard allowance currently paid to men of the fire service and health workers among others, saying it is in line with current financial realities in the state.

The government though conceded that the sum is paltry compared to the risk involved. It, however, gave the assurance that the allowance would improve as revenue appreciates.

Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Florence Oguntuase, at the 2015 Ministerial Press Briefing, said the state’s policies had always been based on resources at her disposal and using same to the best interest of all.

Oguntuase said the hazard allowance was been given much more as a formality because insurance package was already in place to take care of work-related injury or death.

Besides the health workers and firefighters in Lagos, men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) and Social Welfare Officers in Rehabilitation Centres are also eligible for hazard allowances.

It would be recalled that in the build up to the last election, the civil servants had raised pockets of welfare concerns one of which is the meagre hazard allowance, which is claimed in some quarters as unbefitting of huge revenue generated the state
. Just some days ago, the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) disclosed monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N23b as the tax-net widens to 4.5 million people.

In her response, the commissioner said it would be out of place to tie state revenue to workers remuneration alone.

Her words: “The state government has a policy that guides it budget. It has specific proportion allocated to capital development and recurrent expenditure. Don t forget that the revenue accruing to the state government does not belong to the workers alone; it belongs to Lagos 21 million people. The state government cuts it’s budget on what it believes is the best way the interest of everybody can be served.


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