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FG discouraging doctors’ strike with promises

The Federal Government says doctors and other categories of civil servants under the Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure, Consolidated Medical Salary Scale, Consolidated Health Salary Structure, and Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Scale will benefit from a pay rise.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige disclosed this when he spoke virtually during a programme on Arise Television.

Ngige, who urged workers to have hope in the government, said the incoming administration will do better than the current administration.

The FG had recently approved a 40 per cent increase for civil servants in federal ministries, agencies, and departments, under the Consolidated Public Salary Structure.

Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers were excluded from the pay rise.

However, Ngige on Monday said there were ongoing discussions to increase the salary of workers in the health sector.

“There are collective bargaining discussions, social dialogue going on, even since last year for this wage structure to have a salary increase and that has been on for people in the health sector. The doctors are on Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, other health workers are on Consolidated Health Salary Structure, and the university teachers are on Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure.

“Already those people are in collective discussions with their respective employers and some of them have already closed up discussions.

“For example, the people under the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions in the university system have concluded discussions with the Federal Ministry of Education, and they have done local agreement in the Ministry of Education.

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“What we are asking them to do now is to give us a Collective Bargaining Agreement, which everybody will sign with the appropriate government body to witness.

“Then you will move that collective bargaining agreement into the Ministry of Labour and the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission, this time around we move to the Presidential Committee on Salary to look at what the NSIWC has done and send it to the President for approval.”

He said the Nigerian Medical Association has discussed with the Federal Ministry of Health on the increase in salary for doctors.

“The NMA has discussed with the Ministry of Health. The FMoH and NSIWC have come to me and we have transmitted the 25 per cent raise for all categories of doctors. Same for the CONHESS people all over the federation.

“The other people you say are complaining, their money has been captured, it is in the appropriation and immediately they come and finalise and it goes out, they will receive their pay rise with effect from January 2023.

“I’m asking the Nigerian workers to have hope and patience. Whatever we are doing for them now, the new incoming government will also do more. I do not doubt in my mind that they will do more. I know those who are going to run the government and they can do more. The manifesto of our party says renewed hope and that hope will be actualised.

“We are trying our best before May 29 to make sure we raise the money and pay the allowances that are accrued to them. As we are raising the salary, we are also raising the allowances.

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“For example, the people in the health sector are doing enormous work, they have hazard allowance. You will not believe that last year, the Federal Government adjusted their hazard allowance from N5,000 which it had been since 2007 and they were sleeping over it, and we gave them a rise. Some of them got about a 300 per cent rise. The person who was earning N5,000, some of them are earning N45,000.

“Same goes for the nurses and the pharmacists and every other person working in the health ministry,” Ngige said.

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