COVID-19 volunteers for the Nigerian Government helping to tackle Coronavirus are yet to be paid their monthly allowances despite working for about three months.
With limited healthcare workers to battle the outbreak of the virus, government turned to volunteers to help provide essential services at the various isolation centres in the country.
However, after working for about three months, it was gathered that the volunteers were yet to receive any payment from government.
SaharaReporters gathered that the volunteers numbering over 200 were to be given a stipend to cover for their transportation and feeding while working.
Sources confirmed that the volunteers especially those working in Lagos State are currently considering downing tools in protest of the non-payment.
“No compensation or payment has been given to them (volunteers) since they started working for the government.
“They have not received a dime and they are now considering downing tools to protest the non-payment,” the source said.
A health official in Lagos said the management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital is expecting payment from the Federal Government to pay the volunteers.
“We were told the Federal Government has not given the Chief Medical Doctor anything to pay the volunteers, so nothing has been paid to the volunteers.
“That is where we are now and everybody is expecting the government to roll out funds to pay the volunteers as they are now in the third month of volunteering,” the health worker said.
Recall that Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said retired doctors, nurses and laboratory scientists in the country have volunteered their services to the cause of fighting the novel Coronavirus pandemic spreading across the states.
“All retired medical doctors, nurses, and laboratory scientists have volunteered to help us in this fight and we are grateful,” he said.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, declined to respond to calls and message sent to his mobile line as at the time of filing this report.
He however, tweeted that the volunteers were still working.
“Our healthcare workers are still on the frontlines giving care to #COVID19Lagos patients as we speak.
“If you or your loved ones have any #COVID19 related concerns during this #EidAlFitr, just call 08000CORONA for care and support,” he tweeted.
The Nigerian Government has received a donation of N87bn as at April 24, 2020, to combat Coronavirus excluding testing kits and Personal Protective Equipment.