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COVID-19: NANNM Calls For Insurance Cover, Upward Review Of Hazard Allowance

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As Lagos State edges into the third stage of COVID-19 pandemic which is community transmission of the disease, the state chapter of National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) has called for the immediate activation of insurance policies for health care workers and nurses with an upward review of their hazard allowances and other welfare packages.

Chairperson of NANNM Lagos council, Comrade Israel Blessing on Sunday revealed that nurses suffer avoidable consequences arising from poor conditions of service and lack of recognition despite forming the bulk of frontline healthcare professional in the society.

According to her, about 25 nurses are on self-quarantine after being exposed to cases of COVID-19.

She added that those that were tested positive to the disease had since presented themselves at various isolation centres for management while noting that the affected nurses would require immediate activation of their insurance policies.

She said, “Nurses working under the Lagos State government in tertiary, secondary and primary health care institutions recognise and commend the concerted efforts of governor of the state, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu to winning the fierce battle against COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

In the interest of the general populace and the healthcare workers, however, we urge the government and the police to beef up security in the state as the rate of hoodlums’ assault and armed robbery attacks on our members are on the rise.

This, we observed is probably due to hunger, restlessness and possibilities of psychological disturbances, occasioned by the lockdown.

In our collective battle to containing the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, many nurses are exposed to unnecessary risk as the expected Personal Protective Equipment is not readily available to them for use.

Health care professionals are subjected to hardship and diverse risks while performing their duties. They work tirelessly; 24/7 like soldiers at the battlefield in genuine efforts to combat this novel disease but unfortunately little value is placed on them.”

While describing as unfortunate and disappointing welfare packages of health care workers, Israel said perpetual lip services are being paid to the welfare of Health workers in the country.

According to her, there are promises of robust packages for health workers from governments in Nigeria but little or nothing has been done till date.

She declared, “It is pertinent to note that all health workers are frontline therefore they must be treated the same way volunteers are treated and remunerated.

NANNM as an association saddled with the responsibility of protecting the interest of nurses and midwives in the state feel that nurses must not be made sacrificial lambs simply because ours is a noble profession in which the interest of our clients comes first.

It is important to let you know that we need to be alive and in good health to be able to carry out our roles efficiently and effectively.

The consequences of not placing appropriate values on nurses according to their worth, have become so glaring and playing itself out in the current dispensation; as we continuously witness a lot of nurses; being neglected, ignored and not catered for; while they put in their best daily, in line of duty in diverse hospital settings.

We are therefore pained to request as well as appeal for support from the management of health service delivery of the State for easy transportation, provision of consumables, supplies and feeding for our nurses; since they now run 24-48 hours duty in different health care facilities.”

She highlighted the essential needs of members as she said, “It, therefore, becomes necessary that the following areas of interest concerning the welfare of our members in the State be addressed, as a matter of urgency.

There is an urgent need for improvement in provision and supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), which include: surgical masks, N95 face masks, latex and elbow gloves, disposable gowns, etc. with concretised arrangements for insurance cover for nurses.

We also require an upward review of the present ridiculous hazard allowance for all health care workers.

We passionately appeal to the Lagos State government to extend the welfare packages to our members and other health care professionals, working in all other health care facilities across the state as they are also exposed to high hazardous environment.

Most of the COVID -19 infected clients are often referred to the isolation centres, from these other Health care facilities of the State after a thorough assessment.

It is important to state that our members are working tirelessly in ensuring that the collective wellbeing of Lagosians are optimally cared for in our different health facilities, thus those that render health care services should also be cared for, to ensure successful health care indices in the state.”

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CIIN Announces Second Edition Of Insurance Textbook 

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CIIN Announces Second Edition Of Insurance Textbook

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Falekulo Emerges New MD Of Nigeria Re

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Falekulo

 

Mr Olugbenga Falekulo has been appointed as the new Managing Director of Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation, as part of efforts  to ensure that the Reinsurance firm continue in its quest for transparent and accountable management of insurance in the country.

Falekulo, with over 25 years of experience spanning across the sector, said he brought his wealth of experience and professionalism to the fore.

The new Managing Director stated that he and his team are prepared to take Nigeria Re to the next level in the market.

Although he did not disclose the strategic plans the new new management have put together, he assured that Nigeria Re is taking a new dimension in the insurance industry, promising that a new era is here for the company.

He has BSc in Insurance, Masters in Business Administration, and he is also a.member of the Chartered Insurance Institute of London.

Prior to this appointment, he had worked with NICON Insurance, Great Nigeria and Continental Re. He left Continental as an Exexutive Director before in 2014 and went into his private business.

He is well travelled and has attended so many courses within and outside Nigeria. He is married with children.

Nigeria Reinsurance has Mr Mela Audu Nunghe as its Chairman, Falekulo as Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Olusegun Ilori as Executive Director, Finance & Administration, Mr Alexander Ayoola Okoh, the Director-General of Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) as Non-Executive Director, and Mrs Yvonne Isichei as Non-Executive Director (Independent).

Nigeria Reinsurance was established under the Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation Act No. 49 of 1977. It commenced operations on January 1, 1978, as Nigeria’s flag reinsurer, wholly owned by the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In 2002, the Corporation was transformed from being a Federal Government wholly owned Corporation to a privatised company with the government retaining some shares. The Corporation, which has been in operation for over 40 years, is in the business of assuming risks, providing reinsurance services and risk management solutions to its clients.

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Pension Fund Assets Now N12. 7trillion, Contributors 9. 4million

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By Sola Alabadan

The pension fund assets accumulated under the Contributory Scheme in Nigeria was N12.66 trillion as at 30 June 2021, while the number of registered contributors has grown to 9.38 million, the Director General, National Pension Commission (PenCom), Aisha Dahir-Umar, said.

She stated this at the workshop organised PenCom for journalists in Lagos on Monday. The theme of the workshop was “Positioning the Pension Industry in a Post COVID Era”.

The PenCom boss also informed that President Muhammadu Buhari  has approved the payment of some outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government, under the CPS.
This covered payment of outstanding accrued pension rights for verified and enrolled retirees of treasury-funded MDAs that are yet to be paid their retirement benefits, and the backlog of death benefits claims due to beneficiaries of deceased employees of treasury funded MDAs.
Similarly, the President also approved the payment of 2.5 percent differential in the rate of employer pension contribution for FGN retirees and employees, which resulted from the increase in the minimum pension contribution for employers from 7.5 percent to 10 percent, in line with Section 4(1) of the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2014, she added
She emphasised that these payments would boost the RSA balances of the beneficiaries towards better retirement benefits, while the settlement of these outstanding accrued pension rights of verified and enrolled FGN retirees would result in reversing a major challenge that has lingered since 2014.
She stressed that the commencement of payment of the reviewed monthly pension contribution rate by the Federal Government is another significant step in ensuring compliance with the PRA 2014.
According to her, the most recent technological innovation introduced by the Commission is the in-house designed and developed online Enrolment Application, which has capabilities to register, verify and enroll prospective retirees of Treasury-Funded Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
By the deployment of this new application, she pointed out that mass gathering of people has been avoided while enhancing convenience for the prospective retirees through a seamless enrolment process.
Another notable technological innovation by the Commission was the design and deployment of the Retirement Savings Account (RSA) Transfer System (RTS), which was launched in November 2020, she further stated.
The RTS is a Computer Application developed by the Commission, through which RSA holders transfer their RSAs from one Pension Fund Administrator (PFA) to another. Indeed, the activation of the RSA transfer provision, which deepens individual choices, is a major milestone in the implementation of the CPS.
The PenCom DG reassured stakeholders that the implementation of the CPS remains on course, saying that the maintenance of a consistent growth trajectory continues to justify the Commission’s overriding investment  philosophy of ensuring the safety of pension fund assets.
She added that public enlightenment and education is one of the five Strategic Focus Areas currently pursued by the Commission, lamenting that there still exists a knowledge gap on the CPS, 17 years after the pension reform in Nigeria.
Consequently, she maintained that the Commission is committed to reinvigorating its public enlightenment and education drive in order to address this challenge.
Other Strategic Focus Areas include the resolution of outstanding pension liabilities of the Federal Government; portfolio diversification of pension fund investments, improvement in customer service delivery across the pension industry and unrelenting pursuit of sustainable growth of the pension industry by expanding coverage of the CPS.

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