The Nasarawa State House of Assembly has appealed to striking health workers in the state to suspend their strike to give room for further negotiations with Government to arrive at a final agreement.
The Chairman, House Committee on Health, Mr Usman Labaran- Shafa (APC Toto/Gadabuke), made the appeal in Lafia on Thursday during a meeting with the union leaders, Commissioner for Health and other stakeholders.
Labaran-Shafa said the meeting was at the instance of the Speaker of the House, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdullahi, who felt that there was a need for all to make sacrifices in the face of the COVID – 19 pandemic.
He urged the union to accept the offer made by the government for the immediate payment of 20 percent of their hazard allowance and return to work while further negotiations would continue toward a final agreement.
He said that the State Assembly Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs would work with Local Government chairmen to address problems of health workers at primary health care centres across the state.
The chairman further appealed to the workers to allow negotiation to continue as the government had shown commitment in meeting some of their demands.
Also, the Commissioner for Health, Alhaji Ahmed Yahya, said the administration of Gov. Abdullahi Sule had given priority to health and education sectors, appealing to the health workers to consider the reality at the moment.
” They should suspend their strike in the interest of the health of our people and for the overall development of the state,” Yahya said.
He assured them of more proactive steps in enhancing their welfare.
He explained that the committee constituted by the government for the implementation of promotions and new minimum wage was working and would soon submit its report.
Responding on behalf of other health unions, the Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Nasarawa State Branch, Dr Bulus Peter, said the union leaders would consult with members before making their position known to the assembly.
Peter said for the past years, their members were denied promotions, annual increment while the condition of service was not favourable to them.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by the Executive Chairman, State Primary Health care Development Agency, Executive Secretary state Health Insurance scheme and other stakeholders.