The House of Representatives on Wednesday decried the brain drain in the country due to discontent that has given rise to medical medical doctors leaving the country in droves.
To halt the trend, they called for upward review of allowances for medical doctors working in private and public hospitals in the country.
Lawmakers in the lower legislative Chambers stated this while making their contributions to the 2022 budget debate, saying allocation for allowances of medical doctors should be increased to N50 billion.
Presenting their opinion on borrowing, members called for prudent utilization of funds as well as proposed domestic and external borrowings in the 2022 Appropriation bill being considered by the House and the Senate.
The Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Hon. Luke Onofiok, Minority Leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, Hon. Abubakar Kabir among others gave the charge during the debate on the general principles of the 2022 Appropriation bill.
In his remarks, Hon. Onofiok who applauded the N10 billion increase in the allocation for judicial officers, called for upward review of the proposed N50 billion hazard allowance for medical doctors as part of measures toward reversing exodus of medical personnel to other countries amidst the lingering pandemic.
Hon. Onofiok said: “Following from the above, there are plausible recommendations by the FG in the 2022 proposals which my constituents have asked me to share and then appreciate and look at it and commend it.
“One of them is the provision of about 50 billion for hazard allowance for medical personnel. We would recall that as part of the issues that led the medical personnel to go on strike is the hazard allowances which were not paid and even as of now those hazard allowances are quite very minimal.
“We commend this effort of the Federal Government to capture this. I believe that this would stem the tide of industrial action in the health sector in 2022.
According to him, “It is also commendable in the sense that we are still fighting COVID 19, we know that the Federal Government had paid for about three months COVID-19id-19 allowance, and after that those allowances have not been paid. We know what are medical personnel are exposed to daily so there is need for them for to be paid these allowance so it can be a morale booster.
“We have had a lot of brain drain in the last few years, because our eggheads have been pushed to go into other climes because of the challenges we have here. So while we are commending Mr. President for this, there is need for us to up that hazard allowance from N5,000 which has been for over 20 years to something that will boost the morale of those medical personnel.
“So,this is commendable but we can equally look at how we can increase the hazard allowance for medical personnel.”
He also commended Mr. President for approving First Line Charge for National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure. The world is going technology and we need to be in pace with how the world is moving and I want to commend Mr. President and commend the FEC for looking at this perspective to try to have a statutory transfer for the agency.