By Dan-Maryam Zayamu
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), has directed its members across the country to resume work on Wednesday by 8am and vowed to reconvene after 6 weeks to reappraise progress made on the implementation of the agreements.
Briefing journalists in Abuja, Monday, the NARD President, Dr. Dare Godiya Ishaya, disclosed that they are suspending the 63 days old strike because they has seen the commitment and readiness of the federal, states governments and critical stakeholders to return to the negotiating table.
“After critical appraisal of the performances of both federal and state governments on all the issues that led to the ongoing strike as stated above, progress made in implementing previous agreements reached with the
Federal Government, the interventions of His Excellency, the President, Vice President, Minister of Labour and Employment, Minister of Health, Director of Hospital Services, Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Chairman House Committee on Health Care Services and his deputy, NMA President, well-meaning Nigerians and Governments show of goodwill to return to
negotiation table, NEC resolved by the votes of a simple majority, to suspend the total and indefinite strike action embarked upon on August 2, 2021. Therefore, our members will resume full work on Wednesday 6, October 2021 by 8:00 am.
NARD therefore, called on the federal government to reciprocate the good faith and trust shown by the association by ensuring, “continuous processing and payment of the ongoing 2021 MRTF while ensuring that provision for 2022 is adequately captured in the 2022 budget; commencement of the process of withdrawing the court case against NARD as agreed, as a sign of goodwill and commencement of the process of payment of the salary arrears of our members just migrated to IPPIS from GIFMIS platform.”
It, therefore, urged state governments to urgently pay arrears of salaries and allowances owed to our members in their various state tertiary health institutions and to ensure the domestication of the Medical Residency Training Act (MRIA) in their state tertiary health institutions as done in Delta and Benue states.
The resident doctors however, noted that the payments of the Medical Residency Training Funds (MRTF) has commenced with the verified centers across the country; the commendable level of resolutions of issues involving House Officers by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and the migration of members from the GIFMIS to the IPPIS platform has commenced and almost been completed.
It also applauded the federal government’s willingness to withdraw the case against NARD at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) and return to negotiation table in the interest of peace in the health sector and the willingness of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation to withdraw the obnoxious circular removing House Officers from the scheme of service, and also acknowledged the explanatory circular from Salaries, Income and Wages Commission in that regard.
The group, however, expressed over the condition of its members in various state government employments, especially Abia, Imo, Ekiti and Ondo State Governments who are currently owed 21 months, 6 months, 5 months and 3 months of salary arrears respectively.
NARD noted the non-resolution of some of the nagging issues that led to the strike including the non-payment of the salary shortfalls of 2014 to 2016 to her members despite several engagement with the federal government; delay in payment of death in service insurance benefit to the next of kin of our fallen heroes despite their sacrifices to the country, the non-payment of COVID-19 inducement allowance to some of our members in federal and most state tertiary health institutions and the slow pace of upward review of hazard allowance.
By Dan-Maryam Zayamu