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Nurses, midwives protest exclusion from 40% pay rise

The National Association Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Federal Health Institution (NANNM- FHI) sector has decried the exclusion of its members from the recent 40 per cent pay rise for federal workers. The association expressed its displeasure in a statement by National Chairman Morakinyo-Olajide Rilwan, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday. Rilwan described the exclusion as an attempt to cause problems in the system. He said 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 day with their report.

The chairman recalled that the Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige said before the payment that the pay raise was to justify the current economic reality. 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”. According to him, the Federal Government has no justification to exclude some civil servants, especially in the health sector, from the pay rise since everyone, including the workers, patronise the same market and pays the same bills.

The group lamented that the action occurred when there is a mass exodus of nurses and midwives for greener pastures with the aftermath effect of increased workload on the few nurses on the 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.”

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