Ntungamo — President Museveni has said he will not be duped into following international demands on salaries and workforce as this may lead to collapse of the economy if not carefully done in line with infrastructural development and other key national developments.
While presiding over the national cerebrations to mark the International Nurses and Midwives' Day at Kyamate Secondary School playground in Ntungamo Municipality on Sunday, President Museveni said the government cannot ignore the basics of development to concentrate on salaries and administration.
"The salary of government workers, especially the scientists, will no doubt be bettered and matched with those of their peers in the region. It is just a question of time but will be implemented as our revenues increase," Mr Museveni said.
He added: "We have had to balance increasing salaries with other development demands such as building roads, dams and others. You must have seen how smooth the road is all the way from Kampala to Ntungamo. As the economy grows, it gives us latitude to do more."
Mr Museveni was responding to the Uganda Nurses and Midwives' Union President, Mr Justus Cherop Chelangat's, queries that the nurses may not be demanding more salary raise after the recent pay raise until 2021.
Mr Cherop, however, demanded that the government honours a pledge to pay a lunch allowance of Shs15,000 daily to nurses in government health facilities. On the matter of lunch allowances, Mr Museveni said: "I back the idea of increasing lunch allowances for nurses and building more training schools."
The International Nurses and Midwives' Day is celebrated every May 12 annually in commemoration of the birthday of the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, who was born May 12, 1820 and died on August 13, 1910.
Mr Museveni said while there are complaints of nurse-to-patient ratio being below the standard, there are other sectors that are also crippled and government cannot make improvements as it is equally constrained by the poor economy.