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FG releases N4.5bn hazard allowance of resident doctors

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Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN) (left); Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige and Minister of Health, Dr. Isaac Osagie Ehanire briefing State House correspondents after their meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on the recent strike by National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja…yesterday PHOTO: CALLISTUS EWELIKE/NAN

The Federal Government yesterday said it has released N4.5 billion covering hazard and inducement allowances for the month of April and May 2020 to 31 Federal Teaching and Medical Centres across the country.

The government also expressed optimism that the strike action embarked by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) would soon end.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, spoke while briefing State House Correspondents alongside the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire and the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo.

The ministers were in the Villa to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the strike action by the NARD.

NARD had last Sunday instructed its members to down tools over shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and poor remuneration for members as they struggle to combat the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic.

Ngige said: “Just before we went to see Mr President, the Ministry of Finance reported that as at 3.00a.m this morning, they have paid the allowances for hazard and inducement to 31 Teaching and Federal Medical Centres and Specialist Hospitals of the Federal Government service and they have expended close to N4.5 billion in the payment because we are paying them the arrears of April and May. The payment for June will also be done immediately these ones are sorted out.

“Again, it is important to report to you that we have arranged a meeting for them to speak to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum because you don’t mix apples and oranges. The issue of health is on the concurrent list. So, the Federal Government will do its own and the state governments will be expected to do theirs. Some of their grievances border on what they feel the state governments have not done.”

Ehanire, on his part, said: “We hope that there is a solution in sight. What we have done is to brief the President, who as we all know has the final responsibility for everything that goes on in government. Those of us who are Ministers administer our ministries and have to report to him periodically.

“In this particular case, it has been important to report to him how things have been because of the strike action of resident doctors. We have to report to him the implications and the possible consequences of such a strike action.

“He listened to us carefully; of course he is not happy that it has come this way and we all hope that it would be resolved after all the demands that were made have been resolved.

“The Minister of Labour has listed those demands and how all of them have been fulfilled except those of them which are not within our ambit.”


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