The Kano State chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress has suggested that the proposed State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme should be made optional for civil servants.
The Chairman of the union, Kabiru Minjibir, made this suggestion at a public hearing on the scheme, which was organised by the Kano State House of Assembly on Thursday.
Minjibir said though the proposal was a welcome idea, it should be handled in such a way that it would not affect the monthly income of the ordinary civil servants.
Minjibir said the NLC had also recommended the reduction of the proposed monthly deductions by the State Government from the salaries of civil servants for the scheme.
He said: “The deduction should be N900 monthly for level 1-7 workers instead of the proposed N1,800 and N1,400 for those on level 8-12 instead of N2,800, while those on consolidated salary should contribute N2,400 instead of N4,800.
“Judiciary and primary school teachers should be exempted from the proposed scheme, pending the time when issues concerning their outstanding salaries and promotion arrears among other things are resolved.
“If the Federal Government should start such programme with all the attendant benefits free for one year or more, the State Government should equally do the same at least for six months.”
In his remarks, the Speaker, Alhaji Kabiru Rurum, represented by the Deputy Speaker, Alhaji Hamisu Chidari, said the public hearing, which was the third of its kind, was organised to get the public view on the issue.
According to Rurum, the views of the participants would be treated equally, adding that the assembly would be fair in scrutinising their contributions.