Buhari Assures Health Workers on Efforts to Solve Challenges Affecting Sector


President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday appealed to workers in the health sector to bear with the current administration in their demands as it braces up for the challenges posed by coronavirus to the economy.

The President, who made the appeal when workers in the health sector under the auspices of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly Healthcare Professionals Association (AHPA) paid him a courtesy call at the State House Abuja, assured that government was looking into their issues with a view to resolving them.

“Your case is certainly receiving attention, but you must bear in mind the condition that the country is in now. Coronavirus is not improving matters. It is affecting what we very much depend on, the petroleum industry and therefore revenue,” he said.

President Buhari also called on the visitors to appeal to the patriotic sentiments of their members in these trying times and continue to work for further development of the country.

“So please try and help us with your people. Let us be patriotic, let us look at the ways and means of the government and appeal for restraint…We have to emphasize that it is very important we maintain cohesion together because if we allow sentiments or popularity to overwhelm our reasoning faculties, we will be in trouble and it will be too late for us to adjust, so please bear with us,” said the President.

Food Sufficiency

The Nigerian leader used the opportunity to stress that his administration’s successful drive for food sufficiency in the last four years will definitely come in handy now with the drop in government revenue.

“We thank God. God is very sympathetic to us. The three previous rainy seasons were good. We had good foresight in getting fertiliser, making it available and we virtually achieved food security. We made good decisions, and we saved hundreds of millions of dollars on importation of food. If not, we would have been in real trouble,” he added.

JOHESU, an amalgam of five registered trade unions and AHPA, under the leadership of Comrade Biobelemoye Joy Josiah, intimated the President on some of the contentious issues in the sector and also thanked him for some of the positive developments.

Notably, they appreciated President Buhari’s prompt release of funds for tackling Coronavirus; thanked him for assenting to the National Health Act which provides for a one percent consolidated fund for the health sector, and for rejecting the advice of stakeholders who clamoured for the privatization of the health sector which would have deprived the masses access to affordable healthcare.

They requested the President’s intervention in the adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS); withheld April and May 2018 salaries of members; gazetting of the scheme of service for nurses; and restoration of teaching allowances among others.

Also in attendance were Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha; the Minister and the Minister of State in the Health ministry, Dr.Osagie Ehanire and Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora; Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige.

About Author

Victor Okeh is a graduate of Economics from Lagos State University. He is versatile in reporting business and economy, politics and finance, and entrepreneurship articles. He can be reached via – [email protected]

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