A coalition of health professionals in Bayelsa state held a peaceful protest in Yenagoa, the state capital on Tuesday, October 17.
During the protest, they appealed to the state government to immediately implement the new hazard allowance to its members in the state.
According to them, the circular for the implementation of the new hazard allowance was issued since December 2021 but the state government is yet to pay the health workers.
Speaking during the protest, the Secretary of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Tonubari Samuel, said the essence of the demonstration was to draw government attention to the issues confronting health workers in the state.
According to him, aside from the new hazard allowance, the state government has also refused to implement the revised ‘call-duty’ allowance to the health workers even after circular directing the payment was issued in 2014.
He said: “Health workers have been working all these while, but those that work are not getting what their colleagues in other states are getting, they are not getting what their colleagues in Federal Health institutions are getting.
“So, is it that Bayelsa State nurses are second class citizens? Or Bayelsa health workers are second class citizens? So, if other health workers in other states and federal institutions are receiving this revised call duty allowance, Bayelsa health workers deserve it.
“The government should begin the process of payment of the new consolidated health salary structure of 2023.
“New entry point for graduate nurses has a circular in 2022, it has not been implemented in the state. Other states have implemented it, same with the Federal Health institutions. Pleads for its implementation.
“Also, Medical Laboratory Scientists and Pharmacists are not properly placed in the state. They should be properly placed and their entry point should be effected.”
Also speaking, the Secretary of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, (PSN), Pharmacist Manovie Ambrose Elliot, said the protest was to express the dissatisfaction of members of the health profession coalition.
Governor Douye Diri, had during the last Workers’ Day celebration directed the Head of Service to ascertain why his directive on call-duty and hazard allowances had not been effected and ensure its immediate implementation.