The National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, has said that they will not end the ongoing strike by their association until their demands were looked into by the federal government and also met.
They stated, Monday, that the reason why they refused to sign the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, was because it looked like they were being punished for what they termed the failure of the federal government.
They made this clear through the National President of the association, Dr Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, after the meeting they held with the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, the federal government and also, the stakeholders in the medical sector.
Gen Buhari directed the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige to preside over the meeting and ensure that all the prevailing issues that caused the strike action was resolved.
However, Dr Uyilawa disclosed that their association outrightly declined signing the MoU, maintaining that they would continue with the strike while proceeding with the court case at the National Industrial Court.
The Minister of Labour and Employment has said prior, that the federal government will commence implementing it’s MoU with the NMA on Monday, saying that they had informed journalists about their resolve to implement the 12 disputed issues as from the next working Monday, after agreeing on that in their stakeholders’ meeting held at night.
He mentioned that they resolved that NARD would submit the names of the affected officers numbering 114 for further verification, so that once there was a confirmation that their IPPIS particulars and BVN are proven to be genuine, they would be paid in September with all their outstanding arrears.
He also mentioned that they have resolved to pay the outstanding Residency Training Fund for 2020 and 2021 which the Budget Office has confirmed to be N617,429,121 was supposed to have been paid in 2020, but that they were presently trying to do some reconciliations because of the errors noted.
Some people, he said were not supposed to benefit from the funds that were paid, which resulted in a lot of genuine people not being paid. So, they were reconciling the differences and have given a timeline for the reconciliation.
He added that the Federal government already approved N4.80bn which was contained in the 2021 Supplementary Budget signed by the president on the eve of his departure to the UK for meeting and medicals.
He assured that the funds have presently been sourced and has gotten from the CBN to the Budget Office where it will be processed in one week as agreed by the federal government.
The minister stressed that by Friday August 27, residents would have started getting their money each to the tune of N542,000 noting that the issue of adjusting national minimum wage affects the Health and Educational sectors which were both affected by the projection of N160bn done in 2019 which didn’t get to the people that were supposed to enjoy the games.
The meeting resolved to let the matter rest so that if the Budget Office starts from the 2021 service vote to start payments, leftovers to be rolled into 2022.
Dr Ngige noted that the non-payment of skipping allowance affects the entire health sector and therefore agreed that it will be handled holistically while court judgement on the matter is awaited.
He raised the issue relating to States but said that the Federal government cannot pull the states on the issue of domestication on Medical Residency Training Program by their various House of Assembly and government including the issue of Medical Training Residency Fund. He also mentioned the issue of non-payment of COVID-19 allowances by some state governments and inconsequential minimum wage adjustments, saying that the labour ministry will resolve it with the Governors’ Forum and convince them of the need to do the needful.