Kogi Workers Frown at Proposed Salary Deduction for Health Insurance

Some workers in Kogi State have kicked against the proposed plans by the government to deduct their salaries for the compulsory health insurance scheme.

Workers who spoke in separate interviews with DAILY POST on Tuesday described the move as a deliberate plan to increase the sufferings of workers in the state.

They admonished organized labour in the state not to key into the scheme adding that, they had been receiving pea nuts as salaries in the last five years.

A civil servant, who did not want his name mentioned said, “I am really shocked that the government of the day wants to impose the Kogi State Health Insurance agency scheme on us. We have been collecting pea nut as salaries for many years. Now they want to introduce this telling us that they are replicating what is applicable at the Federal level which is the National Health Insurance Scheme. No doubt the intention is good, but is coming at a time we are faced with untold hardship.

“Are they paying percentage salaries at the federal level? Are they not supposed to consider many factors before imposing this on us. We know, Civil servants in the state don’t have any say in this government because they have made up their minds, but this is totally unfair. In Kogi, minimum wage has not been implemented, promotion areas nothing and they are saying they want to deduct our salaries for health insurance. This is totally unacceptable and wicked”.

Another said: “We have children in schools that we find it difficult to cater for. Look at the current economic reality. The prices of food have sky rocketed in the market. Instead of looking for a way out to increase our salaries, pay our promotion arrears and implement the N30,000 new minimum wage, they are coming out with a policy that will still take out of the little penny we are earning on monthly basis.

“Am using this medium to appeal to the organized to ensure that the government meet certain conditions before accepting this. If the Kogi State Government can increase our salaries, implement the new minimum wage, pay our promotion arrears, then we are good to go for the monthly deduction for the health insurance scheme”.

Meanwhile, the Kogi State Government has admonished civil servants in the state to key into the health insurance scheme established by the present administration.

The State Head of Service, Mrs Hannah Odiyo, made the appeal on Tuesday at a sensitization programme of public servant on formal sector health insurance plan organized by the Kogi State Health Insurance Agency.

Odiyo said the insurance scheme is a strategy by both the Federal and State governments to key into the global scheme of insurance which is obtainable in the world today.

She said the global community is strategizing towards attaining good health care system adding that the present economic hardship has made health care system difficult hence the need for civil servants and Kogites to key into the government health insurance scheme.

In his presentation, the Executive Secretary, Kogi State Health insurance agency, Dr. Aledare Adekunle, noted that, the agency was established by Law in April 2019 to provide ‘equitable access to quality and affordable healthcare services for all residents of Kogi State through health insurance in order to meet the global target of attainment of universal health coverage by 2030.

Adekunle said those health services must be affordable and must be of good service without financial hardship.

He explained that the scheme will help to achieve financial protection adding that, in 2015, there was a resolution that all states must establish insurance health agency.

According to him, about 95 percent of Nigerians are not covered by health insurance adding that, the vulnerable, both formal and informal sector will be covered.

He said the cost of heath care service in Nigeria has increased because of inflation stressing that, the insurance scheme will help to strengthen the state health system.

With a population of 4.5 million in the state, Adekunle said their mandate is to ensure that all kogites are captured.

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