Empty hospital beds

Matters Arising: Peculiar Allowance vs Hazard Allowance

Dearest colleagues,

At the commencement of the first phase of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) Ogun strike action, I find it necessary to make the following comments. I beseech my elders to permit me to revisit certain histories without holding me in contempt.

The agitation for review of Hazard Allowance for health workers must be more than two years old. At the national level, the approval was to take effect from the 1st of December, 2021. At the state level, it had been a sorry tale of incompetent woes that came crashing when matters came to a head six months into the NMA Ogun administration.

By February 2023, politicians at the helm of Ogun State affairs promised that once they were re-elected (as unlikely as it looked at the time) they would pay. It was an oath that was not revisited until President Tinubu inaugurated subsidy-removal palliatives few months later and our Governor added Hazard Allowance payment to the ranks of: payment of some leave bonuses, release of some promotion letters, three-month ₦10000 transport subsidy and peculiar allowance.

This of course elicited strong criticism from the NMA Ogun ExCo who in their media engagements clarified that Hazard Allowance and arrears were not petrol subsidy-removal palliatives! We are doctors, we are learned, and our certificates are not in contest.

So, what do we know for sure:

  1. We are public servants (as civil servants).
  2. We are entitled to the transport subsidy we got.
  3. We are entitled to the peculiar allowance.
  4. Hazard allowance is neither peculiar allowance nor palliative.
  5. We are entitled to hazard allowance

Pursuant to the resolution of the NMA Ogun AGM — as reliably related by my affiliate heads — it is my learned opinion that the condition (singular) for suspending the indefinite strike commencing had *NOT* been satisfied viz: payment of hazard allowance and arrears from February on or before the 31st of August, 2023.

In appreciation of the gift of sight, however, I would advise that the modality of the strike be amended in time via a NMA Ogun EGM as I have always championed a no-calls strike.

God bless NMA Ogun. God bless Ogun State. God bless Nigeria.

A concerned Member of NMA Ogun.

Ayokunle Adeleye

Ayokunle is a doctor, a writer at heart, his opinions are strong and he wants a better society. Follow him on twitter @adelayok