The Federal Government says it has spent N20 billion on the allowance of health workers during the Coronavirus pandemic.
This was revealed by the Minister of State for Health, Olorunnibe Mamora. He dispelled the news making the rounds that government has done nothing as regards the welfare of health workers at this period of the Coronavirus pandemic.
It would be recalled that the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), had called out Doctors to embark on a nationwide indefinite strike, because the government had failed to meet their demands.
In June, NARD had also called out all resident doctors to embark on a week strike to drive home their requests for unpaid salaries, non-payment of hazard allowance, and provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals, among other reasons.
Mamora in defense of the government stated that Federal Government is making a lot of efforts to meet up with the demands of health workers.
He said “We have been able to disburse close to N20 billion and I repeat close to N20 billion. So, to now say nothing has been done, that is not true”.
“The initial computation we had from the ministry was in excess of N70 billion. But we had to scale it down based on other realities”.
“When we took off in April, the Federal Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning was able to source for N20 billion that they put down to cater for three months period”.
“But we discovered in the process of implementation that we have other figures based on what we were given at the various centres. We discovered that what we had could only cater for a little above two months but not even reaching the entire three months period. So that was how we got stuck and at each point in time we tried to explain this”.
He explained further saying “We were able to pay Apriland May in full, part of June has been paid but not fully paid and this is because of the economic situation as these funds have to be sourced for, one way or the other.”
He reiterated that some monies were made available to Federal Health institutions across the country, Federal Medical Centres, and Teaching Hospitals, among others.
He however said that, the payment of N5,000 hazard allowance for doctors and health workers, was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He concluded by saying that efforts are in top gear to mobilise funds for the payment of health workers.