PROFILE: Ali Ndume, former marketing teacher who tried to be Senate  president

  

The
Federal Government has promised to pay health workers allowances by this Friday
June 12 to compensate workers battling with COVID-19 pandemic.

This disclosure was made in a meeting between representatives of a health professional
Association and the minister of labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, says
the hazard allowance for the month of April and may be paid.

The
decision, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Labour and
Employment on Tuesday as part of the agreement reached between the Federal
Government representatives led by its minister and representatives of the
health sector workers.


Minster of labour and Employment, Ngige, who indeed is the government representative said the urgent approval granted by President Buhari  was in appreciation of efforts of the health workers risking
their lives on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19.

Ngige
said, “We reviewed all, and also reviewed all the emoluments that we are to
give these gallant workers who are at the frontline taking the risk for all of us  and the Federal government side has given them the financial implication of
what they have done.

He
said, “We have fixed a timeline for ourselves that before the end of this week,
the health workers captured in that particular COVID-19 net and frontline
workers should get all their hazard and inducement allowances for the month of
April and May before the close of the week.”

He
added that the decision on the commencement of the implementation of the
allowances were reached along with the Accountant-General of the Federation,
Ahmed Idris, and the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.

Ngige
explained that the Federal Government had approved insurance coverage for the
health workers, adding that the gesture was in consonance with the memorandum
of understanding signed between the Federal Government representatives, the
health professionals and unions in the health sector on April 21, 2020.

Present
at the meeting were the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus
Keyamo; Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris; Ag. Chairman,
National Salary and Wages Commission, Eyo Nta; Permanent Secretary Federal
Ministry of Labour and Employment, William Alo; Permanent Secretary Federal
Ministry of Health, A.M Abdullahi.

The attendant also includes the National President, Joint Health Employees Sector
Union, Biobelemoye Josiah; President, National Union of Allied Health
Professional, O.C Ogbonna and Secretary-General, Nigerian Medical Association,
Dr Ekpe Philips.

But
in what looks like a twist, A lawmaker representing Borno South in the Senate,
Mohammed Ali Ndume has advised federal and state governments instead to slash
the salaries of workers.

He
made this disclosure on Monday in an interview he granted on channels
Television and that which was monitored by urban Express-News Correspondent.

According
to him, workers’ salaries can be cut since they are yet to resume fully, adding
that such gesture remains a means of sacrifice from the Workers.

He
said, “Government should critically look at the personnel and recurrent
expenditure which consumes about 70 per cent of the budget. Money should be
pumped into capital.

“People
should make sacrifices. This is the time to look at issues critically. But as I
said, When I talk like this – and make my opinion – people look at it and call
me all sorts of names. But I try to express myself.

“I
think there should be more sacrifice, especially on the personnel side. How can
you sustain the same personnel and overhead costs when even the work that you
are doing… most people don’t go to the office now, and they are being paid
fully for the month.

“Is
there any justification for that? If you cannot work because of the pandemic,
then you should be given palliatives and be paid less.”

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