Categories: Health

Respond To Every Invitation For Negotiation, Boss Mustapha Urges NARD

Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC), Boss Mustapha, and others holding a book at the launch of the second phase of COVID-19 vaccination on August 16, 2021. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.


The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha has urged striking resident doctors to accept every invitation for negotiation with the Federal Government.

Boss Mustapha made the call on Monday while flagging off the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination at the Federal Medical Centre in Jabi, Abuja.

The SGF called on the medical practitioners to give the ongoing industrial action a rethink.

“Respond to every invitation for negotiation and discussion to bring to an end the continuous strike action that is affecting the health administration infrastructure,” the SGF said in his appeal to members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

As the country begins the second phase of vaccination, Mustapha who doubles as Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, said vaccines have proven to be the game-changer in Nigeria’s response to the virus.

According to him, the vaccines are “our only hope out of COVID-19”.

Senator Ibrahim Olororiegbe who also spoke at the event appealed to the striking doctors to embrace moves for negotiation.

The lawmaker and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health said human resources is a big challenge in Nigeria, noting that the money the doctors are requesting has already been provided and is being processed.

READ ALSO: Fiji Mandates COVID-19 Vaccines For Civil Servants

READ ALSO: Nigeria Kicks Off Phase Two Of Covid Vaccination

An unhealthy battle

The Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, and others watch as a man takes the COVID-19 vaccine on August 16, 2021. Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.


While the nation fights the deadly virus, the raging battle between the aggrieved resident doctors and the government has continued to threaten Nigeria’s health sector.

About a fortnight ago, the doctors embarked on an indefinite strike over irregularities and salaries owed housing officers. They claimed that the Federal Government has been mute since the commencement of the industrial action.

The situation seems to be deteriorating. NARD and the Minister of Labour Dr Chris Ngige have so far not reached a consensus, raising concerns among Nigerians that the strike may linger for a while.

Ngige had recently threatened to replace the striking resident doctors if they refused to return to work.

According to the Minister, an employer has a right to replace an employee who abandons their duties, especially as it pertains to essential services.

“He will also withdraw your money and use it to pay those he has acquired during the period you were away,” he said.

But in a swift rebuttal, NARD President Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, said the people who deserve to resign or be sacked from their duties are those who have put the doctors in a position where they have to embark on industrial actions to drive home their demands.

Okhuaihesuyi asked Nigerians to “tell those that are the cause of the strike and have not done their work that they should be sacked or resign from the positions they hold”.

While the government seeks to pacify the resident doctors, the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has threatened to join the strike if their colleagues are not paid their wages.

Emmanuel Egobiambu

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Emmanuel Egobiambu
Tags: Abuja COVID-19 Mustapha Vaccine

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