HEALTH workers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja have protested the fact that they have not been paid their allowances for the last three months despite putting their lives on the line to combat the pandemic.
So far, Nigeria has had 20,244 cases of coronavirus, with 518 casualties, of which 1,567 and 30 fatalities have been in the FCT. Second in terms of numbers just after Lagos State, the FCT has been a major epicentre of the virus and its task force has been working flat out to combat the pandemic.
Earlier today, frontline workers who braved the virus in Abuja protested the non-payment of their hazard allowances. These protesters comprised the members of the Covid-19 Emergency Response Team, including investigators and sample collectors, who lamented the fact that they have not been paid for three months.
Over the weekend, Nigeria’s information minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed said that the government had paid out significant sums to health workers across the country. It appears, however, that this money is not getting to the frontline as the FCT staff have not got their share of the payment.
Alhaji Mohammed said: “We have paid N9bn as a premium for group life insurance to all our health workers and over N4.6bn ($11.7m) as special hazard allowance to health workers as already acknowledged in at least 35 hospitals. In summary, a total of 55,031 health workers have been paid comprising of 23 Covid-19 designated hospitals and medical centres and eight non-Covid-19 designated centres amounting to over N7.9bn ($20.2m).”