FLASHBACK: Trainee nurses with President Akufo-Addo
The Controller and Accountants General (CAG) has released GH¢33.5 million for the settlement of three months’ allowance due trainee nurses in the country.
According to a statement from the Information Ministry, the funds were paid out of a pot that was spent quarterly on nurses’ trainee allowances by government.
It further indicated that another GH¢25 million will be disbursed in “due course” for the payment of the remaining months.
“We are paying the arrears of all student nurses who have just completed their courses. This release will cover all these arrears for the nurses who have completed school. Theirs will be paid in full for the three months, and for our nurses who are in school, one month’s payment,” Deputy Information Minister, Pius Hadzide, disclosed.
He said a total of GH¢50 million was expected “but what we have received is GH¢33 million as at now, so immediately the money comes, the other two months for those who are still in school will be paid.”
The release of the funds comes shortly after some trainee nurses threatened to boycott class over the delay in the payment of their allowances, with some spanning over a period of six months.
But Mr. Hadzide explained that the delay in the payment of the arrears had come about due to a change in the distribution formula for the arrears.
He maintained that previously the allowances were paid quarterly, but the government has decided to pay it monthly going forward.
“It is true that there have been some delays largely because of how the payments were arranged. These were paid in arrears quarterly. The decision has been made that going forward, it will no longer be treated as a statutory payment but it will be treated as payments on salaries and emoluments that come monthly, so going forward, the delays will be avoided,” he assured.
Mr. Hadzide further assured trainee nurses that the government will pay the outstanding two months’ arrears as soon as the Finance Ministry makes funds available.
The Akufo-Addo government in a run-up to the 2016 presidential elections promised to restore the teacher and nurses trainee allowances scrapped by the previous government; a promise that was fulfilled in September 2017.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri