STAFF of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Covid-19 emergency response team have staged a protest to express their disgust at the fact that they have not been paid their N30,000 daily allowances for April and May.
Nigeria’s FCT is the third most affected part of the country after Lagos and Kano states with 687 cases, of which there have been 20 deaths. Because of the highly metropolitan and urban nature of the FCT, it has had to be effectively policed to prevent the spread of the virus, leading to its response team being very active.
Led by its chairman Ikharo Attah, the FCT Covid-19 response team has been very visible over the last few months, shutting down churches and mosques and fumigating banks. Mt Attah has had several high profile confrontations with clergymen who refused to obey the lockdown orders and in some instances, has had to have them arrested.
Unfortunately, despite the tireless work of Mr Attah and his team, they are owed two months allowance arrears by the government. Among those being owed are sample collectors, case investigators, ambulance drivers, environmental health worker, temperature readers and cleaners.
Yesterday, these workers converged on the Public Health Department office in Abuja, demanding that the outstanding allowances be paid before they return to work. It is not yet clear of the government will clear the allowances over the next week as the lockdown enters its final phase with the gradual easing of the coronavirus restrictions.