By Abiola Olawale
Amid the second wave of COVID-19 in the country, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has on Tuesday promised to follow up on the insurance cover and hazard allowance of health workers across the country.
The President of the Congress, Ayuba Wanna made this announcement at a Five-day 7th Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives(NANNM), in Abuja.
He took the opportunity of his invitation to the hand-over ceremony of the association to address the issue of the welfare of the health workers.
Wabba promised that the Congress is going to work alongside NANNM to get the names of the health workers that lost their lives to COVID-19, to ensure the payment of their insurance covers.
He also urged the government to ensure that all necessary allowances are paid, as it is necessary for the encouragement of health workers.
In his words, “We will work with you to know the number of those that have died to follow up on what they promised as insurance cover for COVID-19. We were told 800 health workers were infected with COVID-19. Health workers globally are entitled to hazard and inducement allowances to encourage them to work, some countries make such 50%. I am aware that in the second wave, there are so many allowances that have not been paid; urge government to respect the understanding that we have actually reached.”
The President also took the opportunity to condemn the privatisation of health care systems by some individuals across the country. He said the health of citizens should be paramount and should not be taken for granted, adding: “We have seen deficiency in privatisation of health care systems around the world, health is not supposed to be for profit. Health is a fundamental right of a citizen. Some private hospitals in the country are taking advantage of COVID-19 to exploit people. We need to defend the larger population against exploitation.”
While addressing the new leadership of the NANNM, Wabba, urged the association to make sure that there is unity among the health workers as it is necessary to achieve desired results. He said, “Avoid divide and rule; nobody will like you more than yourselves, unity is necessary to achieve desired results.”
It would be recalled that NANNM is a professional-cum trade union organization recognized by the Trade Unions (Amendment) Act of 2005. It is a non-governmental and non-profit organization authorized to organize all professional nurses and midwives who are trained, registered and licensed to practice Nursing profession at all the levels of healthcare delivery system in both public and private sectors in the country.