The Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Enam Hadzide, has confirmed that government has paid nurse trainees GH¢35 million in unpaid allowances.
The reparations come on the heels of mounting pressure from nurses who claimed the Health Ministry failed to pay their due compensation.
The Controller and Accountant General paid the funds out of a GH¢60 million pot that was spent quarterly on trainee allowances. Another GH¢25 million will be disbursed in “due course,” an Information Ministry statement reads.
“I expect that by next week trainees would be smiling to the banks or wherever to receive their allowances,” Hadzide said. “I am impressed with their candor and I ask them to remain calm as government is moving at jet speed to resolve all challenges and to get Ghana working again after several years of mismanagement.”
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Hadzide continued that moving forward, new trainees should expect to receive their allowances in a timely manner.
During the 2016 presidential campaign trail, then-Foreign Minister Nana Akufo-Addo vowed to restore teacher and nurse trainee allowance – an allowance that was scrapped by the previous administration.
But shortly after, delays ensued. The Information Ministry said that the postponements stemmed from allowances that were treated as quarterly statutory payments.
“This meant that the payment of the allowances was made at the beginning of the next quarter, a situation which affected the timely release of monies to the trainees.”
Government’s resolution was to transition from statutory payments to salaries and emoluments, the Ministry said.
The Ghana Nurses and Midwives Trainees Association did not immediately respond to comment.