Nurses serving in the Nigerian Navy have decried what they described as a deliberate attempt by the authorities to deprive them of their salary and allowances.
The nurses, who pleaded anonymity, told Daily Trust that they were enlisted into the service on pay grade 04 as against the grade level 08-step 1 of the stipulated entry level for professional nurses.
They claimed that the situation had resulted in N20, 000 salary disparity between them and their counterparts in other arms of the military, adding that attempts to make the Navy hierarchy address the issue had not being fruitful since 2009.
A petition written on behalf of the concerned nurses to the Nigeria Navy Authority, dated December 2, 2008 and copied to the Chief of Defense staff, the House of Representatives’ and Senate Committees on Defence and the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, reads, “Contrary to the recommendations of the Federal Ministry of Education that nurses with the general nursing or basic midwifery qualification should be on remuneration proportionate to Grade Level 08 (step 1) in the public service, the Navy Authority, following their enlistment, has, since 1999, placed them on Grade level 04.
“That both the Nigerian Air force and the Army have adopted and are implementing, with regards to nurses and midwives, the Harmonized Terms and Conditions of Service (HATCOSS 2006) in accordance with the recommendation of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.
Although the Navy Authority may have the power and discretion to regulate issues that have to do with ranking, and the harmonization of salaries within the ranks, such power and discretion do not preclude the Navy Authority from implementing the recommendation of statutory bodies like the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission specially charged with the duty to regulate wages”.
Reacting, Nigerian Navy Spokesman Commodore Kabir Aliyu said, “The Naval Headquarters will ascertain all the allegations of the aggrieved nurses, and once their claims are found to be true, all the grey areas will be addressed.”