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HEALTH WORKERS FAULT NON-PAYMENT OF NEW HAZARD ALLOWANCE IN NIGERIA

The Federal Government is yet to commence the implementation of the increased hazard allowance for health workers seven months after its announcement.

The Federal Government, in December 2021, increased the hazard allowances applicable to health workers in its healthcare facilities across the country.

The increment was contained in a circular with reference SWC/S/04/S.218/11/406, dated December 22, 2021, from the Chairman of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.

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The hazard allowance was reviewed to a flat rate that ranges from N5,000 to between N15,000 and N34,000 for health workers on the CONHESS salary structure, while doctors on CONMESS had theirs reviewed from N5,000 to between N32,000 and N40,000.”

However, health workers in the country confirmed to reporters that the reviewed hazard allowance has not been implemented.

A hazard allowance is additional compensation for workers who are performing an exceedingly dangerous or physically uncomfortable job.

The Publicity and Social Secretary, National Association of Resident Doctors, Dr Alfa Yusuf, said that the hazard allowance has been promised since last year and nothing has been said about it.

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He revealed that they had lost many of their members to various hazards, and the government is not doing anything about it.

Also, the National President of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals, Dr Obinna Ogbonna, said that they thought they were going to receive the new allowance when they were paid in July, but they have not been paid.

Meanwhile, a former President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Prof. Mike Ogirima, urged the government to implement the increased hazard allowance as promised.

The resident doctors have given the government two weeks to address their demands, and they hope that government will meet them to avert disruption in healthcare services.

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Efforts to reach the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, proved abortive as his number was not reachable, and he has yet to respond to a text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.

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