Covid-19: FCT public health workers owed 7 months allowance

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This is not a good time for the country’s health system with the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic ravaging countries all over the world.

The Public Health workers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are not motivated to deliver their best, NewsSpecng can authoritatively reveal.

The FCT Administration is owing the Health workers seven (7) months hazard allowance, a situation that has demoralised the workers, it was learnt.

The workers who are in the forefeont of combating Covid-19 have only been paid the N50,000 hazard allowance for three months -March to May 2020.

According to the few of the Health workers who voluntered to speak, though under the condition of anonymity, the administration has been using subtle blackmail to keep them working and quiet.

They said what we hear everytime the issue comes up is that the allowance remains a privilege and not a right.

Besides, the authorities are fast in reminding them of their monthly salaries that is still running.

The workers also complained about the inferior Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplied to them.

The PPE, they chorused “are either fake, substandard and unsafe for the kind of work they expect us to carry out. Yet, no one will listen.”
They explained that atimes at the point of removing the PPE, it get torn, which further exposed them to danger.

Their fear became heightened when the Director of Public Health landed in the isolation centre.

“Despite the kind of treatment we recieve from the authorities, we are still doing our job. But it is incumbent on them to do the needful and not continue to cajole us.

“Everybody knows that we are at the forefront of the exposure as we deal with patients of the virus yet we are denied our allowance on the excuse that there is no money for now.

“At times when we request for our allowance, we would be told that it is a previlege and not a right. So we should not push it too far.”

Apart from the hazard allowance been owed, the workers said the administration is still owing promotion arears since 2016.

“Also imagine the kind of PPE they supplied for the work. They even exposed us the more. The PPEs are either fake or inferior yet we dont have a choice than to use it. Look now, the Director of Public Health has found himself in isolation centre. The nature of his work also exposes him.

“So you can see the nature of work we do. Nobody around us is safe, yet we are not given our dues as at when due. Some of us were even optimistic that the arrears would be paid with our salaries but we were disapoointed. We will now go back to our families that there is nothing to show for the overtime amd risk work we have been doing for the past seven months. Its unfair but what can we do.”

Meanwhile, the FCT administration has reactivated the Idu isolation centre as a result of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, while other centres, Asokoro, Karu are expected to come up as well.

The centres were shut following the reduction of incidences of the virus in September 2020.

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