Workers of the Port Health Services (PHS), Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos and some others at the headquarters of the health agency in Abuja are ruing nonpayment of hazard allowance promised by the Federal government to health workers during the Covid-19 lock down.
The hazard allowance were announced to be paid to health workers, March, April and May but reports from sources says, sixty- seven(67) of the 73 health workers in Lagos airport are yet to paid any of the allowance while only three (3) in Abuja have been bequeathed their allowance.
Meanwhile, Port Health workers in other locations such as Maritime, border posts and other airports across the nation who later joined them on duty have been paid their full hazard allowances, raising concern for the workers who were also at the forefront of the pandemic.
One of the workers who spoke under the condition of anonymity told our correspondent that they were surprised to find out via a memo that colleagues in Abuja and Lagos Airport have not been paid the COVID-19 hazard allowances.
“I was shocked to know that out of the 73 health workers on the nominal roll in Murtala Muhammed Airport; only six of them have so far been paid. We sympathize with those Lagos people because they carried the major burdens of the primary screening of international passengers to prevent the spread of coronavirus through the airport. They risked their lives and those of their families’ during the period of the COVID-19.
“Lagos airport, we all know, is the busiest. The PHS personnel there were always over stretched whenever there is any pandemic. I believe those in Lagos Airport should be the one to be taken care of first whenever allowances are to be paid,” the source said.
Another source which spoke with our correspondent at the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja also regretted the development. The source which also confirmed that only six of the 73 health workers in Lagos Airport have so far been paid two months out of the promised three months COVID-19 hazard allowance, however, said only one person in the headquarters is yet to be paid the hazard allowance. The source which lamented the delay at paying the allowance to the Lagos staff noted that the delay may dampen the morale of the health workers considering the risks they were confronted with during the peak of COVID-19 lock down and the stress it brought on them and their families.
“I am aware that only six of 73 of our colleagues in Lagos Airport have been paid the COVID-19 hazard allowances. We can’t just understand what is causing the delay. The Lagos Airport staff are the ones carrying the majority of the burden of primary screening of International passengers every day; because Lagos Airport is the busiest in terms of everything.
“It is however not true that some staffers in Abuja have not been paid. I can assure you only one person is yet to be paid the allowance in Abuja. And that person is a woman in the headquarters. I am sure she would soon be paid. But the issue of the remaining 67 health workers in Lagos Airport who are yet to be paid, gives me serious concern. The delay should attract the attention of the management,” the source lamented.