The Federal Government has released the sum of N4.5 billion to 31 Federal Teaching and Medical Centres across the country.
The sum is to cover hazard and inducement allowances for the month of April and May.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, disclosed this on Friday while briefing State House Correspondents in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The Minister spoke after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Just this morning before we went to see Mr President, the Ministry of Finance reported that as at 3:00 am this morning, paid the allowances for a hazard to 31 Teaching and Federal Medical Centres and special hospitals of the Federal Government’s service.
“And they have extended close to N4.5billion because we are paying them off the arrears of April and May. The payments for June will also be done when these ones are sorted out. So we have expended N4.5billion as we speak this morning for these payments,” he said.
Ngige’s comments come three days after a meeting between the Federal Government delegation and the National Association of Resident Doctors aimed at resolving the strike embarked upon by the association ended in a deadlock.
The striking doctors refused to reconvene after a brief recess and their president, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, told Channels Television that they are not ready to shift position until their demands are met.
However, Ngige insisted that the meeting was successful, as most of the demands are being resolved.
He later noted that the representatives of the striking doctors have informed them that their members do not agree with the resolutions from the meeting so far, and as such cannot call off the strike until some tangible evidence of commitment from the government is received.
Also speaking, the Minister of Health says the government has the obligation to protect the health of citizens, and since the doctors are not ready to resume, certain steps must be taken.
He also noted that a circular has been sent out to all government hospitals to open a register from Wednesday, to take note of doctors that will resume for work.