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Kano COVID-19 frontline workers decry non-payment of allowances

COVID-19 frontline workers in Kano State have decried the non-payment of their allowances for over three months. The workers, numbering more than 70, include medical…

COVID-19 frontline workers in Kano State have decried the non-payment of their allowances for over three months.

The workers, numbering more than 70, include medical doctors, nurses, medical laboratory scientists, health attendants among other health personnel, who volunteered in the fight against the deadly disease at one of the  isolation facilities in Kwanar Dawaki, Dawakin Kudu Local Government of the state.

Speaking to The Chronicle, one of the affected workers, who represents the nurses and does not want his name in print, said he had outstanding allowances of over N600,000 yet to be paid.

“Everyone is aware of how we were recruited to work here. When they called for health workers to volunteer, many refused to volunteer due to fear of infection. But here we are; we sacrificed our lives even when some of our family members were against the decision, only for us to be left stranded,” the nurse lamented.

According to the source, the allowances of the health personnel were paid at the peak of the virus infection in the state, but started having issues with the payment in the past three months.

The affected personnel were said to have reported the issue to the Chief Medical Director of the centre but they later understood that the issue was beyond his capacity to address.

“We also went to the chairman of the state COVID-19 Task Force, where he even made phone calls in our presence and promised to pay us that very day, now it is over three weeks and nothing was done,” he added.

Similarly, another medical doctor, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, also said he had about between N800,000 and N900,000 unpaid allowances.

“We have complained to the CMD, he did his best but still nothing is done. Most of the nurses affected here are casual staff. Some are even married. We have sacrificed our lives for the fight against this pandemic till the state flattened the curve, even when many of our colleagues ran away,” the medical doctor said.

He added that some of them were infected with the virus in the cause of the fight, only for them to end up not having their allowances settled.

He appealed to the state government and the task force committee in the state to try to settle them.

When contacted, the chairman of Kano State Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sabitu Y. Shu’aib, however, said government was owing the health workers only their October allowances.

He said, “We used to pay them after every two weeks, but now we changed it to monthly.  We always ask their heads of units to compile the list of those who worked then we process the payment.

“It’s only that of October that we haven’t paid as far as I know and we are processing it already,” Shu’aib said.

He then advised those affected to register their complaints with their banks and that if they still encounter any problem, they should contact their CMDs and forward the complaints to the committee.

 

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