In an announcement addressed to a news conference today (Sunday) in Abuja, the president of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Dr. Aliyu Sokomba stated that the strike action which commenced on June 15 has been suspended. This announcement was made after a meeting was held between the Association and Nigeria’s Governor’s Forum (NGF) in Abuja.
The announcement by Dr. Aliyu went thus:
“NEC has resolved to suspend the ongoing indefinite strike with effect from Monday, June 22, 2020, by 8.am prompt.
“The national officers shall continue negotiations with stakeholders and progress made shall be reviewed in four weeks during the next National Executive Council meeting in July 2020.
“The decision to suspend the strike was taken in order to give the Federal and State Governments time to fulfil the outstanding demands following an appeal by the Speaker of the House of Representative, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairman Nigeria Governors Forum and another stakeholder,”
The president of the Association noted that although there have been provisions of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in some hospitals, more were still needed for sustained supplies. He also stated that the Medical Residency Training fund had been included in the revised 2020 budget through the intervention of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and it would be implemented once the budget has been approved by the president
He gave the federal government an ultimatum of 4 weeks to meet their demands.
“At the same time, we await the fulfilment of the promise made by the Nigeria Governors Forum to ensure the same is done in all the states.
“On the salary shortfall for 2014-2016, The Secretary to the Government of the federation has promised to intervene.
“Government has shown a commitment to secure group life insurance for health workers. That the disengaged resident doctors at Jos University Teaching Hospital have been reinstated, the Chief Medical Director has been directed to pay their withheld salaries and comply with the provisions of the Medical Residency.
“On State Tertiary Health Institutions (STHIs), the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum Gov. Kayode Fayemi and the Director-General Mr Asishana Okauru, appealed to be given time to discuss with other state Governors of Kogi, Gombe, Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Enugu, Anambra, Abia and Imo for immediate pay parity with the corrected CONMESS of 2019 and that salary shortfalls due to our members will be paid shortly.
“NARD also met with Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo state who also gave his words to favourably look into all challenges of our members in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso with a view to abiding by the international standard.
“That the Executive Governors of Delta and Benue from reports by our members have been supportive although more needs to be done.
“NEC observed that COVID-19 inducement allowance has only been paid to 11 federal health institutions and most state governments are yet to review the hazard allowance of health workers,” he said.