Updated: Nigerian doctors set to end strike today after MOA signed

Doctors and FG officials at the meeting. Photo Festus Keyamo
Doctors and FG officials at the meeting. Photo Festus Keyamo
Doctors and FG officials at the meeting. Photo Festus Keyamo
Doctors and FG officials at the meeting. Photo Festus Keyamo

By Abankula

Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, president of the National Association of Resident Doctors has hinted that the nationwide strike by doctors may end today.

Okhuaihesuyi spoke Friday night after a meeting of the association with federal government officials in Abuja.

He said the association was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, which sought to address area of concerns that triggered the strike on 1 April.

He said a meeting of NARD’s executive council will be called to decide on the strike.

At the meeting, the Federal Government signed a Memorandum of Action (MoA) with the doctors.

The MoA was the second in a fortnight. The first one was signed on March 31, but was later rejected by the striking doctors.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, said the new MoA was necessary to amend the first MoA.

He said that there were irregularities in the payment of salaries of House Officers, adding that while some got double payments, a few had not been paid.

“In view of this situation, a five-man committee was set up to harmonise the list of affected officers and they have 72 hours to produce a valid list.

“The list will be submitted to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System through the Federal Ministry of Health,’’ Ngige said.

He said health institutions affected by the non-payment of salary shortfalls between 2014 and 2016 and arrears arising from the consequential adjustment on the National Minimum Wage, had been directed to forward their personnel strength.

“’This is to enable us to accommodate this in the 2021 supplementary budget,’’ he said.

The minister noted that the issue of Hazard Allowance was not peculiar to members of NARD but that it cut across the entire health system.

He said that the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS) would meet with the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission on April 12 to examine the Hazard Allowance issue.

The minister added that the NMA, the Joint Health Sector Unions, NARD and other stakeholders would meet on 14 April 2021 with the PCS with their position papers on the issue.

Ngige appealed to NARD to give the conciliation process a chance for industrial peace to prevail by calling off the strike.

Resident doctors began a nationwide strike on April 1 to demand for improved welfare packages.

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