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The National Association Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Federal Health Institution (NANNM-FHI) has protested the exclusion of its members from the recent 40 per cent pay rise for federal workers.
The NANNM-FHI, in a statement issued on Sunday, April 23, by its National Chairman, Morakinyo-Olajide Rilwan, described the exclusion as an aberration and attempt to cause problems in the system.
Rilwan said nurses and other health workers have been calling for salary adjustment since 2016, with several committees set up for the adjustment.
He said the committees were yet to see the light of the day with their report.
The NANNM-FHI chairman recalled that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, had earlier said before the payment that the pay rise was to justify the current economic reality of the country.
Rilwan quoted Ngige as saying that “the pay rise for Federal Government workers was to cushion the effects of inflation, rising cost of living, hike in transportation fare, housing and electricity tariff.”
He said the Federal Government has no justification to exclude some sections of civil servants, especially in the health sector from the pay rise since everyone, including the workers patronise the same market and pay same bills.
He said the action was also coming when there is mass exodus of nurses and midwives out of the country for greener pastures with aftermath effect of increase workload on the few nurses on ground.
Rilwan said: “Instead of motivating those health workers, who have agreed to stay in the country to salvage the health system by this pay rise, the best thing government could do was to exclude nurses.
“The last time Consolidated Health Salary Scale (CONHESS) was adjusted was in 2010 and most of the allowances due to nurses were being short paid, for instance 30 per cent shift allowance with less than 10 per cent being paid to nurses.
“Many things are causing agitation, including Nurses Special Salary Structure.
“However, we are just getting the news this weekend and we are studying the situation while consultation with relevant stakeholders is ongoing, especially our parent body.
“But the fact is that our members are not happy with the exclusion and we cannot continue keeping quiet.
“Nurses have suffered enough neglect and deprivation as front line workers in health sector.”
He noted that the NANNM-FHI was happy that civil servant salaries ere increased, but would resist such exclusion for its members if steps are not taken regarding nurses pay rise.
The NANNM-FHI chairman added that the association would resist any form of deprivation in the health sector, especially in the area of remuneration, training, and policy making.
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