BY Kayode Oyero
The Federal Government has approved the disbursement of N8.9bn COVID-19 hazard allowance to health workers in the country.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, made this known during a briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
About 16,000 doctors have downed tools over the government’s inability to meet their demands including insurance package, payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance as well as the payment of medical residency training funding.
It had earlier been reported that the doctors also called for the upward review of their hazard allowance from the sum of N5,000 which they described as “paltry”.
“The Federal Government has not invited us to a meeting after we notified them that we will be proceeding on strike. We have directed all our members across the country both federal and state institutions to recommence the strike we suspended on June 22, 2020,” the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors had said at the commencement of the indefinite strike on Monday.
Speaking on Thursday, Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said, “Over the past one week, a lot of discussions in the public space has happened around the strike action by doctors and other unions in the health sector.
“While appreciable progress has been made in the negotiations to resolve the issues, I must underscore the fact that we are in a global public health situation that has impacted negatively on all aspects of our lives including the economy and finances of government.
“This has made it imperative for all citizens irrespective of their professions and particularly all health workers to re-awaken the sense of humanity and patriotism.
“I’m pleased to announce that Mr President has graciously approve additional N8.9bn of COVID-19 hazard allowance to all medical and health workers in the country.
“In addition, the procurement of personal protective equipment for all hospitals is in progress and will be given priority.”