The Federal Government has paid N15.8 billion to insurance cover for hazard and inducement allowances, for doctors in the Federal Teaching Hospitals, Federal Medical Centers and non-COVID-19 hospitals.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige made this known at the end of a closed-door meeting which lasted for about five hours late last night between the Federal Government and leadership of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), led by its president, Dr Sokumba Aliyu.

Sen Ngige revealed that the Federal Government has so far spent N15.8 billion for hazard allowances in the federal teaching hospitals, federal medical centres as well as some other non-COVID-19 hospitals where doctors have also been treating COVID cases.

The minister also said the Federal Government has paid all the premium for Group Life Insurance spanning between April 17, 2020, and April 16, 2021, for all federal civil servants except those in the revenue-generating agencies; such as customs, FIRS, NNPC among others.

According to Senator Ngige, these revenue generation agencies were not included because they can afford their own insurance.

He added that agreement has been reached to forward the nominal roll of the workers of the Health Ministry and its parastatals to the six handling Insurance companies latest next week.

Ngige added that the federal government has opened negotiations with resident doctors, in a bid to resolve the lingering crisis. The meeting is to stop the doctors from going ahead with their planned nationwide strike next month.

The Federal Ministry of Health and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation are to resolve the 20 per cent top-up and report back next Tuesday. The meeting, which lasted for about five hours, is to continue next week Thursday.

Sen. Chris Ngige assured all health workers of the commitment of the Federal Government to their safety and welfare.

“The Federal Government will continue to appreciate the untiring efforts of all health workers. The President at every time, remembers you and thanks to you for the immense sacrifice you make for the nation and firmly believes that nothing is too much to do for you to show appreciation.

“The government will do more to protect the health of our people,” the Minister said.