Strike: NARD to appraise FG response to demands

Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Folorunsho (left); his Labour and Employment counterpart, Dr. Chris Ngige; the minister of state in the ministry, Professor Stephen Ocheni and President, National Medical Association, Dr. Mike Ogirima; during a meeting on the ongoing strike by resident doctors in Abuja. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO

The leadership of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) says it will meet on Tuesday to appraise the response of the Federal Government to its demands.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the federal government in a meeting with the leadership of NARD which held on Sept. 6, agreed to pay the arrears of salaries latest by Sept. 8.

Dr Arikawe Adeolu, a member of the National Executive Council of NARD, told NAN in Abuja on Monday that the meeting would allow the leadership appraise the events since its meeting with government.

Adeolu, who is also the General Secretary of NARD, Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Jabi, Abuja, said the outcome of the appraisal would determine whether the nationwide indefinite strike would be called off or not.

He said the appraisal was necessary as more than 90 per cent of members were yet to receive their arrears as at 3 p.m of Sept. 11. He expressed optimism that the arrears would be paid as the federal government claims it has disbursed the arrears to the hospitals accordingly.

“We were supposed to hold a meeting on Sept. 8 but it didn’t hold because the essence of the meeting was defeated.

“We thought that government would have paid by then but we got nothing so the meeting has been postponed to September 12; it will be a closed door meeting to carry out an appraisal of events so far.

“The federal government claims that money has been paid to the hospitals so we need to confirm from members across the country is they have received their salary arrears.

“Money is not usually paid directly to doctors; it is sent to the hospitals so what we are trying to do now is to verify whether the money has come into the hospitals for onward payment.

“Today and tomorrow is enough time for this money to be disbursed to doctors if it really has been paid. By tomorrow we should have a clear view of whether this money has been paid or not,” Adeolu said.

Adeolu had earlier said some of the agreements reached with the federal government could not be fulfilled immediately except the payment of salary arrears to members.

NAN reports that the association on Wednesday met with the Ministers of Health and his Labour, Prof. Isaac Adewole and Dr Chris Ngige, respectively.
The purpose of the meeting was to find ways on how to end the strike.

The doctors are protesting the sack of some of their colleagues, non-payment of “skipping’’ entitlement, non-inclusion in the IPPIS platform and non-payment of their salary arrears, among others. The industrial action commenced on Sept. 4.



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