By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-THE National Association of Resident Doctors,NARD,has explained that a critical appraisal of the performances of both federal and state governments on all issues that led to its latest industrial action convinced it to suspend the over two months old action.
Recall that the association had earlier resolved to suspend the action after hours of deliberations at its National Executive Council,NEC, meeting held in Abuja, last Sunday.
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Recall also that the group which began the strike in the first week of August,this year,had called on members to resume work on Wednesday, October 6, by 8am.
President of the association, Dr. Dare Godiya Ishaya and the Secretary General Dr. Suleiman Ismail,at a media briefing, Monday,in Abuja,however tasked the government to reciprocate the good faith and trust shown by the association by fulfilling the the group’s demands.
According to them,it was imperative of government to ensure the continuous processing and payment of the ongoing 2021 MRTF while ensuring that provision for 2022 was adequately captured in the 2022 budget.
The group also asked the government to begin the process of withdrawing the court case against NARD as agreed as a sign of goodwill.
The group particularly gave government a 6-week ultimatum to implement the decisions reached in the MoU, threatening that contrary action by government would leave it with no alternative than to call for another emergency National Executive Council meeting to decide next action to take against government.
It requested that the government begins the process of payment of salary arrears of its members that just migrated to the IPPIS from GIFMIS platform.
“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 President Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Minister of Health, Registrar, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), Chairman of House Representatives Commitee on Healthcare Services and his deputy, president of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and well- meaning Nigerians, government’s show of goodwill to return to the negotiating table, NEC resolved by the votes of a simple majority, to suspend the total and indefinite strike embarked upon on August 2nd, 2021.
“Therefore, our members will resume full work on Wednesday, October 6 by 8 am,”the organisation’s communique at the NEC meeting, read.
According to NARD president,government has begun payment of medical training allowance in about 20 verified centres across the country.
He said NEC noted the commendable level of resolutions of issues involving House Officers by the MDCN.
The communiqué jointly signed by Ishaya, NARD Secretary General, Dr. Abiodun Ismail, and Publicity/Social Secretary, Dr. Alifa Yusuf, the association said: “NEC noted that migration of members from the GIFMIS to the IPPIS platform has commenced and almost been completed.”
“NEC commended the federal government’s willingness to withdraw the case against NARD at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria and return to negotiation table in the interest of peace in the health sector,”the communique further read
The association said that NEC had noted the willingness of the Head of Service of the Federation to withdraw the obnoxious circular removing House Officers from the Scheme of Service and also acknowledged the explanatory circular from the Salaries, Income and Wages Commission in that regard.
It, however,said it said viewed with great concern the conditions of NARD members working in various states, especially, Abia, Imo, Ekiti and Ondo States who are currently owed salary arrears ranging from 21 months to six, five and three months respectively.
NARD president said that the NEC meeting viewed with concern the following perennial issues — non-payment of the shortfalls of 2014 to 2016 to her members despite several engagements with the government, arrears of national minimum wage consequential adjustment, delay in paym