The National Association Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Federal Health Institution (NANNM-FHI) sector, has decried the exclusion of its members in the recent 40 per cent pay rise for federal workers.
The association expressed its displeasure in a statement issued by Mr Morakinyo-Olajide Rilwan, National Chairman, NANNM-FHI sector, to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.
Rilwan said the attention of nurses and midwives in FHI of Nigeria has been drawn to the commencement of 40 per cent peculiar allowance pay rise for workers in the Federal Government establishment with outright exclusions of its members.
He described the exclusion as an aberration and attempt to cause problems in the system.
He said that nurses and other health workers have been calling for salary adjustment since 2016, with several committees set up to this effect.
Rilwan said the committees are yet to see the light of the day with their report.
The national 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 that the federal government had 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 said.
Rilwan said that NANNM is happy that civil servant salaries ere increased, but would resist such exclusion for its members if steps are not taken regarding nurses pay rise.
He said that the nurses association had remained calm over time despite the series of neglect and government had been taken that for granted, but this time around, it was not easy calming members down as they are ready to take action.
The national chairman, FHI sector, said that NANNM would resist any form of deprivation in the health sector, especially in the area of remuneration, training and policy making.