We have paid N20bn COVID-19 allowance to health workers - Minister of state for Health, Olorunnimbe Mamora
Olorunnumbe Mamora, the Minister of State for Health, says the Federal Government has paid up to N20bn as COVID-19 inducement allowance to doctors and health workers in the country.
Mamora made this known when he appeared as a guest on Channels TV on Wednesday, September 9.
Recall that on Monday, September 7, resident doctors embarked on a strike action due to some unfulfilled promises made to them by the Federal government. One of which is the payment of COVID-19 inducement allowances as well as the payment of medical residency training funding, amongst others. The doctors claim they haven't been paid.
However during his interview, Mamora said it would be unfair for the doctors to claim they haven't received any thing as COVID-19 allowance. According to him, the Federal government has so far disbursed N20 billion as COVID-19 allowance.
“We have been able to pay the COVID-19 inducement allowance because we had to suspend the hazard allowance for this period so that we can go into renegotiation after.
We are now paying starting from 50 per cent of the basic of the workers depending on where the point of operation is. We were able to pay April, May full, June, part of it has been paid but not fully paid and it’s because of the economic situation and these funds have to be sourced for one way or the other.
We’ve been able to disbursed close to N20bn and I repeat close to 20bn. So, to now say nothing has been done, that is not true.”she said
Addressing the grievance of the doctors over the insurance package for health workers who die in the line of duty, Mamora said,
“Every worker in the Federal Civil Service is entitled to the Group Life Insurance Scheme which is domiciled in the office of the head of Civil Service of the Federation.
We discussed this in our previous engagements with the doctors and we did say that you need to come up with this information and all the relevant officials, particularly in the office of the head of Civil Service of the Federation were present so that they (doctors) will know who to direct all these things to.
What we just do in the ministry of health is the supervision of the process. So, when a health worker dies and he was an employee of the Federal Government, the information comes to us, goes to our Human Resources Directorate and it is processed. Ours is to do a follow-up but the office of the head of Civil Service will get these things done because they are the one that interface with insurance companies because it is a group of insurance companies that manage this process.
But what we have discovered is that some of the time, the appropriate information is not made available. For example, we have asked the various federal tertiary hospitals to come up with their nominal role so we know who is on that list and stands to benefit in the event that death, unfortunately, happens. We made that clear and the doctors said they now understand better.”