- Disquiet over discrepancies in payment.
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The Kwara State covid 19 technical committee has allegedly defied the order of the Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq on the amount to be paid as hazard allowance to front line health workers, Fresh Insight have authoritatively gathered.
It would be recalled the Governor had approved the payment of #25,000 and #10,000 for medical personnel at the isolation centre and the contact tracers respectively.
Fresh Insight can authoritatively confirm that indeed as promised by the Governor, all front line health workers were paid yesterday (Tuesday) morning via their various banks directly from the Kwara covid 19 account domiciled in Zenith Bank of Nigeria.
However, further investigation by Fresh Insight showed unexplainable discrepancies in the amount paid to front line officers which was almost 40% below the amount approved by the Governor.
Speaking with this medium exclusively, the affected workers, confirmed that they all received alert of varying amounts without any tangible explanation for the discrepancy.
Fresh Insight investigation showed that we have in total 35 personnel in the front line comprising of 8 medical Assistants (red cross), 11 Doctors, 5 Nurses, 6 attendants, 4 lab technicians and 1 Pharmacist.
According to the multiple sources who spoke to Fresh Insight, they said “while the front line medical personnel whose hazard allowance for the 30 days of April was supposed to be in the region of #750,000 was cut by almost 50% in sum, while others had 40% chopped off unexplainably” they bemoaned
Confirming the allegations, Fresh Insight received credit alert of no fewer than 10 of the affected front line health workers who although supposed to earn the same pay, but were credited with varying amounts with the same caption:
Desc: |COVID- TECH COMM Andapos ||ZBN|KWSG COVID.
It was discovered that while some were paid #425,000 which was the highest, others in the same category got #375,000 and some #320,000.
In the same vein, 2 nurses who started with isolation centre immediately it was opened got #125,000 each, the 3 who joined weeks after got #50,000 each.
Speaking with a senior civil servant in the know on condition of anonymity, on the reasons for the payment discrepancies, she said “I want to believe the discrepancies was due to the number of days worked and the fact that some staff joined after the list of all benefiting staff had already been submitted to the Governor and approved.
“I want to believe they used their discretion to ration the payment so all benefiting staffs will receive at least a fraction of what is due to them” the source added.
However, speaking with Fresh Insight via a phone interview and later at the Deputy Governor’s lodge today, the Kwara State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Raji Razaki denied the approval of a blank #25,000 and #10,000 respectively by the Governor stressing that, while he won’t disclose the approach amount by the Governor on phone, he can confirm as false reports that the Governor approved blankly #25,000 and #10,000 respectively.
He said “I can’t talk about the amount approved by the Governor on phone, but I can categorically tell you that the Governor didn’t approve #25,000 and #10,000 as erroneously circulated.
“What I can confirm to you is that we’ve carried out the directive of the Governor to the fullest and all the beneficiaries have since received alert and they’re happy” he stressed.
Dr. Razaki who doubles as the Deputy Chairman 1 of the covid 19 committee said further “It is not possible for me as the Commissioner of Health or even the Chairman of the covid 19 committee which is Deputy Governor to disobey the order of the executive Governor of the State.
“The payment was from the government’s specialised account to the account of the beneficiaries, so all these things are easily traceable and verifiable, what would anybody gain by shortchanging the beneficiaries, the money was paid as directed by the Governor and Kwara State is one of the earliest State and the highest paying in the Country as at today.
“There are varying categories of health workers, even the Doctors aren’t all carrying out the same role, so their pay will naturally be different.
“As for the Doctors in the front line (those at the isolation centre treating patients), they are entitled to #750,000 hazard allowance monthly and that’s what they all got.
“Doctors collecting samples receive a lesser pay to Doctors treating patients at the isolation centre, same goes for Nurses, Pharmacist, Lab scientist among others as the case maybe.
“Although some of them started treating patients since March, what we paid yesterday is for April according to the memo we acted upon.
“Any Doctor working at the isolation centre treating patients and received less than #750,000 should endeavor to come out because the schedule we gave to the Bank was clear.
“Others got varying degrees of daily hazard allowance from #20,000, #15,000, #10,000 as the case maybe. The level of risk involved and qualification determines the amount paid” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Tuesday hailed Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for delivering on his words to pay frontline health workers daily allowances in appreciation of their work.
“This is to appreciate Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq who has kept to his words by fulfilling all promises, especially the recently disbursed financial motivations to the Frontline Healthcare workers in Kwara State who are actively involved in facing the COVID-19 challenge in the State,” Dr Solagberu said.
“This is no doubt motivating and an added impetus towards driving the ready spirit of the health workers.
“The Kwara State branch of the Nigerian Medical Association is proud to have you as our Governor at this crucial time and shall sustain our collaborative stance to further break newer grounds for an overall improved health care system in Kwara State.”