A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has called on the federal government to review the “hazard allowance” given to health workers involved in the fight against COVID-19.
This is coming a day after the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, said he was “not aware” if health workers get hazard allowance in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
An entry level federal doctor or dentist earns an annual consolidated salary of about ₦1.7 million ($4,722), rising to ₦8.5 million ($23,611) for the highest grade. Of this, hazard allowance is ₦60,000 ($167), irrespective of level, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
Being the first respondents to coronavirus patients, health workers are highly exposed to the infection.
For instance, on April 4, Aliyu Yakubu, a medical doctor aged 60, died at the Nigeria Air Force Reference Hospital, Daura, Katsina State, after contracting the deadly virus. A week later, his wife and children tested positive for COVID-19.
Mr Abubakar urged the federal government to review the hazard allowance paid to them.
“Having acknowledged that healthcare workers in the frontline of the war against #COVID19 are our true heroes,” Mr Abubakar wrote in a tweet on Friday, “a review that will enhance their hazard allowance should be given immediate consideration.”
Having acknowledged that healthcare workers in the frontline of the war against #COVID19 are our true heroes, a review that will enhance their hazard allowance should be given immediate consideration. -AA
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) April 10, 2020
Countries like Hong Kong have offered frontline medical staff working in high-risk areas a bonus of 20 per cent of their daily basic salary or HK$500 (approximately $64) per day, depending on which is higher.
Singapore, too, approved a one-month special bonus for healthcare officers in frontline agencies directly involved in Singapore’s fight against COVID-19.
The Federal Government of Nigeria has said it is working to structure medical and life insurance for health workers involved in the war against COVID-19 in Nigeria.
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