The Federal Government has failed to reach an agreement with medical doctors and other health professionals on a new hazard allowance for them.
A meeting of the Presidential Committee on Hazard Allowance (comprising government officials and health professionals) on Thursday night ended without a consensus and was adjourned indefinitely to allow each side to harmonise their demands.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, told journalists after the meeting in Abuja that members of the Joint Health Care Workers Union (JOHESU) and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) needed time to harmonise their demands, while the Federal Government needed time to study the new proposals from the Health Workers.
According to him, the government is working to ensure that all the demands for a rise in health-workers hazard allowance stay within the initial N37.5 billion which is the summation of what the government earlier proposed to the health workers.
“The two big bodies have given their final positions now so the government has taken the final position and I also allowed them time to see if they can discuss among themselves as they did just before the COVID-19 and we came out with a COVID hazard allowance,” Ngige said.
“We are giving them that same ample opportunity to see if we can give they can meet and harmonise their positions. A quantum of money, ₦37.5billion, is what it comes to, so we are trying to within that realm of ₦37.5 billion. The proposals they have submitted differ and they are not able to harmonise now.
“We will also take those positions back to Provisions Salaries Committee and look at it with Salaries, Income and Wages and we can then take a government position based on that. We are journeying sine die for the government side to also look at those two positions and see whether we can do a middle-of-the-road.”