Resident Doctors Suspend Nationwide Strike

A file photo of medical doctors during a protest.

 

Members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have suspended their nationwide industrial action.

This comes 10 days after the doctors commenced the strike, leaving many patients unattended across various government-owned hospitals in the country.

The President of NARD, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, confirmed the suspension of the strike to Channels Television on Saturday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He explained that the leadership of the union took the decision to suspend the industrial action after a virtual meeting with members which lasted about 15 hours.

“We have suspended our strike after our meeting which ended about an hour ago,” said Dr Okhuaihesuyi.

 

Suspended, Not Called Off

Asked to clarify whether the strike was called off or suspended, he responded, “No, we have only suspended.”

He added that a communique to that effect was being put together and would be made available to the media before the end of Saturday.

The medical practitioners suspended the strike barely a day after a meeting between the leadership of the union and the Federal Government.

Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, chaired the meeting which lasted about six hours and was also attended by the Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora.

Briefing reporters on Friday at the end of the meeting, Ngige disclosed that a five-man committee had been set up to look into some of the doctors’ demands.

They included Dr Okhuaihesuyi, the Secretary-General of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), and representatives from the ministries of labour and health.

According to the minister, the committee is expected to look at the non-payment of House Officers’ salaries within 72 hours and produce a valid list to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), through the Federal Ministry of Health.

On the issue of salary shortfall of resident doctors from 2014 to 2016, he said the meeting resolved that NARD and the Committee of Chief Medical Doctors should immediately submit a list of affected institutions and personnel strength, to be captured in the 2021 supplementary budget, with arrears from April 2019 to December 2019, as contained in the Memorandum of Action signed at the meeting.

The meeting, according to Ngige, also discussed the issue of hazard allowance and NARD was asked to come up with a position paper which should be submitted at the meeting of the Presidential Committee on Salaries, the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, the Nigeria Medical Association, and the Joint Health Sector Union on April 14 at the Federal Ministry of Labour.

Other issues the meeting considered are abolishment of the bench fees, residency training allowance, group life insurance payment and payment of residents on GIFMIS platform.

On his part, Dr Okhuaihesuyi said the association was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting and hinted of positive action on the part of the doctors.

Ngige had urged the doctors to call off the strike latest by 12 noon on Saturday, but the union only suspended it at about 8:09pm.

Strike May Be Called Off On Saturday, Doctors Say After Meeting With FG

Members of the National Association of Resident Doctors met with federal government representatives on April 9, 2021.
Members of the National Association of Resident Doctors met with federal government representatives on April 9, 2021.

 

The National Association of Resident Doctors has said it may call off its strike on Saturday after meeting with federal government representatives in Abuja.

The meeting, which lasted for over six hours, sought to address area of concerns which led to the strike embarked upon by the doctors on April 1.

NARD’s National President, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, said the association is satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.

He however said the association cannot call off the strike until consultations are made with its executive council.

READ ALSO: FG Accuses Doctors Of Playing With Lives Of Nigerians

He added that the strike, hopefully, will be called off on Saturday.

After the meeting, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said a five-person committee has been set up to look into some of the doctors’ demands.

The committee includes NARD’s National President, Secretary-General of the Nigerian Medical Association, and one representative each from the Ministries of Labour and Health.

The committee is expected to look at the non-payment of House Officers’ salaries within 72 hours and produce a valid list to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), through the Federal Ministry of Health.

On the issue of salary shortfall of resident doctors from 2014 to 2016, Ngige said the meeting resolved that NARD and the Committee of Chief Medical Doctors should immediately submit a list of affected institutions and personnel strength, for it to be captured in the 2021 supplementary budget, with arrears from April 2019 to December 2019, as contained in the memorandum of action.

Similarly, on the issue of hazard allowance, the Minister directed that NARD come up with a position paper which should be submitted at the meeting between the Presidential Committee on Salaries, the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, the Nigeria Medical Association, and the Joint Health Sector Union on April 14 at the Federal Ministry of Labour.

Other issues the meeting considered are abolishment of the bench fees, residency training allowance, group life insurance payment and payment of residents on GIFMIS platform.

Strike: FG Accuses Doctors Of Playing With Lives Of Nigerians

A file photo of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

 

The Federal Government has accused the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) of playing with the lives of Nigerians who need them at this critical time.

Dr Chris Ngige, who is the Minister of Labour and Employment, made the allegation on Friday at the opening session of a meeting with the aggrieved doctors in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He warned the members of the union to stop what he described as toying with the lives of citizens in the name of pressing for better welfare.

According to the minister, neither NARD nor the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) is a trade union and many Nigerians have died as a result of the industrial action by the resident doctors.

He stated that while members of the associations were entitled to some rights, they should be mindful that their actions have serious consequences.

“Nigeria is facing a serious challenge from COVID-19 at the moment. This calls for selflessness by all.

“Notwithstanding, the present administration is doing everything to ensure better welfare for our health workers who are key in the fight against the pandemic,” Ngige told the doctors.

He also asked them to abide by their Hippocratic Oath which placed on them the primary responsibility of saving the lives of their patients.

The Minister of State for Health, Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, who was also at the meeting, appealed to the doctors to end their strike.

He assured that their concerns were already being taken care of by the government, adding that it was important for them to return to work.

On their part, the doctors denied the allegations by the minister, saying they remained open to meaningful negotiation from the government.

Thereafter, the meeting went into a closed-door session while journalists await the outcome of issues discussed.

The ongoing strike by the doctors began on Thursday last week, despite a conciliatory meeting with the leadership of NARD and Ngige.

Among many other demands, the doctors called for the immediate payment of all salaries owed to all house officers, including March salaries (regardless of quota system) before the end of business on March 31.

They also demanded the immediate payment of all salary arrears, including March salaries for members in all Federal (GIFMIS platform) and State Tertiary Health Institutions across the country, especially ASUTH, IMSUTH, and UNIMEDTH.

NARD sought an upward review of the current hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance, especially in state-owned-tertiary Institutions.

They also called for the abolishment of the exorbitant bench fees being paid by their members on outside postings in all training institutions across the country with immediate effect.

According to the doctors, salary shortfalls of 2014, 2015, and 2016 should be paid to their members in all federal institutions, including state-owned institutions as earlier agreed with the government.

They asked for the payment of death in service insurance for all health workers who died as a result of COVID-19 infection or other infectious diseases in the country.

Organised Labour In Taraba Suspends Strike After 17 Days

A screenshot taken on April 8, 2021, shows leaders of the organised labour in Taraba State at a press conference in Jalingo, the state capital

 

The organised labour in Taraba State has suspended its industrial action declared over the N30,000 minimum wage to workers in the state.

Chairman of the Taraba State Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, Musa Buhari, announced the suspension of the strike on Thursday at a press conference in Jalingo, the state capital.

Members of the organised labour in Taraba, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) began the strike on March 22 over the failure of the government to implement the new national minimum wage.

Musa explained that the decision to suspend the strike was as a result of an agreement with the state government to work out modalities for the implementation of the new minimum wage within three months – from April to June.

He called on civil servants in the state to resume work immediately, but report any attempt of victimisation on account of compliance with the industrial action.

Read the full text of Musa Buhari at the briefing below:

Fellow workers of Taraba State,

We bring you fraternal greetings and appreciation for your commitment to the struggle for the Implementation of the New National Minimum Wage of Thirty Thousand (N30,000.00) Naira only in the State.

Recall that the Organized Labour under the auspices of SJPSNC directed Workers to resume Industrial Strike Action on the 22 March 2021 over non-implementation of the New National Minimum Wage the State which you fully complied.

During the period of the strike action, the organized labour has had series of meaningful dialogue with the Government.

Modalities for implementation of the New National Minimum Wage within three months (i.e., April to June 2021) are being worked out.

Consequently, the Industrial Strike Action is hereby suspended, and all workers are directed to resume work immediately.

Workers are equally enjoined to report any attempt of victimization on account of participating in the strike action from any quota to the Organized Labour.

Solidarity forever! Aluta continua!!

Financial Autonomy: NBA Asks Judiciary Workers To Reconsider Timing Of Strike

A file photo of lawyers at the Supreme Court in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has appealed to the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to reconsider the proposed industrial action by its members scheduled to begin on Tuesday.

NBA President, Olumide Akpata, who made the appeal on behalf of the lawyers on Monday, described the decision of the judiciary workers to go on strike as commendable and laudable.

He, however, decried its timing and the devastating consequences it would pose for justice administration in the country.

Akpata decried that the strike was coming on the heels of prolonged lull in judicial activities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the enforced lockdowns.

According to him, courts are trying to play catch-up for lost time and it will be catastrophic for the administration of justice for the courts to be shut down again due to the strike by JUSUN.

The NBA President also noted the adverse economic consequences of the strike for families and lawyers alike, who earn a living by providing various support services to the court system.

He stated that the NBA has reached out to JUSUN on the prospects of reconsidering the industrial action at this time.

Read the full statement by the NBA president below:

PROPOSED STRIKE ACTION BY JUSUN OVER FINANCIAL AUTONOMY FOR JUDICIARY: STATEMENT OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION

The attention of the Nigerian Bar Association (“NBA”) has been drawn to the proposed strike action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (“JUSUN”), as contained in a notice issued by its General Secretary, I.M Adetola, dated 1st April 2021.

By the said notice, members of JUSUN across the Federation have been directed to down tools, effective from Tuesday, 6th April 2021, to press home JUSUN’s demands for enforcement of financial autonomy in the Judiciary.

The NBA is deeply worried that despite the clear provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as altered) which consecrate the autonomy of the Judiciary, the Executive arm of Government, particularly at the State level, has customarily refused to comply with the provisions of the Constitution, which are targeted at safeguarding the independence of the Judiciary.

The NBA is aware of the judgment of the Federal High Court of 13th January 2014 which unequivocally confirmed the autonomy of the Judiciary in line with the spirit and letters of the Constitution.

While that judgment was followed by a Memorandum of Understanding between JUSUN and relevant stakeholders under which parties agreed to conscientiously give effect to the judgement of the Court, that has not been the case for seven years after the landmark judgment.

This situation does not augur well for our constitutional democracy, as it suggests that members of the Executive arm of Government, who swore to uphold the principles of the Constitution, can flout it, with impunity.

The Judiciary is an equal arm of Government relative to the Executive and the Legislature, and its independence is fundamental to the effective discharge of its mandate under the Constitution.

A situation where the Judiciary literally begs for its resources from the Executive arm, as is currently the case across several States, cannot guarantee its independence and constitutes an affront to the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

The NBA is equally aware that the Executive Order No. 10 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, on the 20th of May 2020, which to a large extent, sought to address this constitutional imbroglio by treating the funds due to the State Judiciaries as a first-line charge, and requiring that the funds be paid directly to the Heads of Court concerned.

However, information available to the NBA shows that the State Governors have challenged the Executive Order, citing constitutional infractions.

The NBA is of the considered view that the provisions of Section 121(3) of the Constitution on the financial autonomy of the State Judiciaries are clear and do not really need the instrument of an Executive Order to give effect to them.

To the contrary, it is a simple matter of enforcement by the States as the Federal Government has admirably done in respect of the Judiciary at the Federal level.

However, as commendable and laudable as the proposed strike action may be, the NBA is concerned about its timing and the potentially devastating consequences it would pose for justice administration in the country, particularly coming on the heels of prolonged lull in judicial activities owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and the enforced lockdowns.

Across the country, the Courts are trying to play catch-up for lost time, and it would be catastrophic for the administration of justice for the Courts to be shut down again.

This is not to mention the adverse economic consequences for families and lawyers alike, who earn a living in one way or the other, by providing various support services to the Court system.

For the avoidance of doubt, the NBA, as a leading stakeholder in the justice sector, and in keeping with its motto of promoting the Rule of Law is in support of the demands of JUSUN, and has been a constant voice of advocacy towards enthroning judicial autonomy.

But the timing of an action, is as good as the action itself.

Against the backdrop of the above, the NBA has reached out to, and is discussing with JUSUN on the prospects of reconsidering the strike action at this time, and will provide updates as discussions progress.

Strike: Resident Doctors Fault Ngige, Insist Demands Must Be Met

 

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has faulted the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige and the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire on the government’s position regarding the industrial action.

Ngige had on April 2 warned that Federal Government will implement the ‘no work, no pay’ on the striking National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) if they refuse to resume work.

He also insisted that the government had met the demands of the striking doctors, wondering why they were yet to call off the industrial action despite efforts by the Federal Government.

The doctors had called for the immediate payment of all salaries owed to all house officers, including March salaries (regardless of quota system) before the end of business on March 31.

NARD President, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, speaks during an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today on April 4, 2021.

 

They also demanded the immediate payment of all salary arrears, including March salaries for members in all Federal (GIFMIS platform) and State Tertiary Health Institutions across the country, especially ASUTH, IMSUTH, and UNIMEDTH among several others.

But speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, NARD President, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, insisted that their demands must be met.

READ ALSO: If Doctors Refuse To Resume, We Will Implement ‘No Work, No Pay’ – Ngige

While noting that the Federal Government has just met one of the seven demands, he accused the current administration of insincerity.

“Is there sincerity there that you expect us to sign then you go to sleep after signing the MoU? We stand on it, we are going to continue the total and indefinite strike until all these are met,” he said.

“You can use the big cane, the antics of government ‘no work no pay’ or bring local doctors because local doctors that can now take over specialist doctors or doctors in training can do surgeries, can be a neurosurgeon, an orthopaedic surgeon or a cardiologist because you want to substitute the truth for falsehood.”

FCT NMA Backs Strike

Meanwhile, the Federal Capital Territory branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has backed the strike action declared by the resident doctors as the association maintains a united front in the ongoing industrial action.

NMA Chairman the FCT and North-Central, Dr Enema Amodu, speaks during a press conference in Abuja on April 5, 2021.

 

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, NMA Chairman the FCT and North-Central, Dr Enema Amodu identified migration of doctors and other health workers in their droves in search of greener pastures, disharmony in the health sector amongst health workers, breakdown or epileptic health care delivery vis a viz strikes and industrial actions of health workforce as some of the problems facing the health sector.

“To my colleague medical doctors, this is not a time for in-fighting, name-calling. This is the time for us to come together and be one,” he said.

“The NARD has taken this fight, they are in the lead. We need to rally round them because the more we support each other, the quicker resolve these issues and get back to our duty posts.

“At this point in time, I call all doctors. Let us all come together and unite as doctors and take on this ugly situation that is going to kill the health profession.”

The resident doctors had on April 1 commenced an industrial action across the country after an ultimatum issued to the Federal Government expired on last week Wednesday.

If Doctors Refuse To Resume, We Will Implement ‘No Work, No Pay’ – Ngige

 

The Federal Government will implement the ‘no work, no pay’ on the striking National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) if they refuse to resume work.

This is according to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who issued the warning on Friday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“By Tuesday, I will invite them back. If they become recalcitrant, there are other things I can do. There are weapons in the Labour Laws, I will invoke them. There is no work, no pay,” Ngige said.

“Their employers have a role also to keep their business afloat, to keep patients alive. They can employ local doctors. We won’t get there but if we are going to get there, we will use that stick.”

Speaking further, the Minister also noted that the current hazard allowance of ₦5,000 for doctors was fixed in 1992.

While noting that when the former President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Francis Adedayo Faduyile, drew the attention of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who described the figure as criminal.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on April 2, 2021.

 

The Minister explained that the Federal Government would review the amount in five weeks’ time, although he didn’t disclose the proposed figure.

READ ALSO: Resident Doctors Begin Indefinite Strike Nationwide

“It is the last NMA President Faduyile that called my attention that the hazard (allowance) was ₦5,000. I raised it with the Finance Minister and the Vice President in the Economic Sustainability Meeting. In fact, to use the words of the Vice President, he said it is criminal, that it shouldn’t happen.

“The new hazard allowance will be done in the next five weeks. It is in the Memorandum of Action that we signed. Immediately after the Easter break, I will convene a meeting to look at it holistically,” he added.

The resident doctors had on Thursday embarked on an indefinite strike to protest alleged failure by the Federal Government to fulfil its obligations to them.

They had earlier met with the Federal Government’s team on Wednesday over their grievances, rejected the proposals put forward by the government on how to make up for the shortcomings in the implementation of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between both parties.

UPDATED: Resident Doctors Begin Indefinite Strike Nationwide

A file photo of doctors during a protest.

 

Members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) have commenced an industrial action across the country.

The strike which was scheduled to begin on Thursday followed an ultimatum issued to the Federal Government which expired on Wednesday.

NARD President, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, announced the commencement of the nationwide strike during an interview on Sunrise Daily – a breakfast programme on Channels Television.

“The strike commenced 8am this morning, and we enjoin all resident doctors to start the strike immediately,” he said.

 

Ahead of the planned strike, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Doctor Chris Ngige, a conciliatory meeting with the leaders of the union on Wednesday in Abuja.

At the meeting which lasted several hours, he appealed to the aggrieved medical practitioners to have a rethink and sheathe their sword, saying the Federal Government was making efforts to ensure their demands were met.

Giving an update on the meeting, Okhuaihesuyi who led other leaders of the union to the discussion said they were not strange to the government’s proposal.

He stressed the need for the government to take more responsibility, adding that the decision to go on strike was for the benefit of all healthcare workers in the country.

“We had a meeting with the Minister of Labour from 4pm till about 12am this morning; we insist that the implementation of what we wrote on the strike notice should be intimated immediately.

“We are not just doing this for resident doctors, we are doing this for all health workers … the government needs to be more responsible,” the NARD president stated.

 

The Demands

In their demands, the doctors had called for the immediate payment of all salaries owed to all house officers, including March salaries (regardless of quota system) before the end of business on March 31.

They also demanded the immediate payment of all salary arrears, including March salaries for members in all Federal (GIFMIS platform) and State Tertiary Health Institutions across the country, especially ASUTH, IMSUTH, and UNIMEDTH.

NARD sought an upward review of the current hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance, especially in state-owned-tertiary Institutions.

They called for the abolishment of the exorbitant bench fees being paid by their members on outside postings in all training institutions across the country with immediate effect.

According to the doctors, salary shortfalls of 2014, 2015, and 2016 should be paid to their members in all federal institutions, including state-owned institutions as earlier agreed with the government.

They asked for the payment of death in service insurance for all health workers who died as a result of COVID-19 infection or other infectious diseases in the country.

Other demands, made at the meeting of the National Executive Council of the union held on Saturday last week at the National Hospital in Abuja, read:

Universal domestication/implementation of the 2017 MRTA by all Federal Government and State-owned Training Institutions to ensure proper funding of Residency Training in the country as stipulated by the Act.

Immediate payment of 2019, the balance of 2020 and 2021 Medical Residency Training Funds (MRTF) to our members including those under state government employ.

Immediate implementation of September 2017 Memorandum of Terms of Settlement (MOTOS) between NARD and the Federal Government of Nigeria in order to bring lasting peace to the health sector and curb the ongoing ugly trend of brain drain from the health sector.

Immediate review of the Act regulating Postgraduate Medical Training in Nigeria in line with International Best Practices to remove the unnecessary rigors in Residency Training in Nigeria, one of the factors attributed to brain drain in the health sector.

Immediate commencement of employment into all Government-owned hospitals to improve service delivery to Nigerians, enhance Residency Training, and curb the attendant brain drain in the health sector.

It also demanded the reintroduction of medical super salary structure and specialist allowance for all Doctors as already approved for some other health workers. This will go a long way in ensuring peace in the health sector.

The NEC unanimously demanded the sack of the Registrar of MDCN for failure to demonstrate competence in the handling of the central placement of house officers. This will give room for smooth implementation of the central placement of house officers without further delays.

Finally, the NEC reiterated her commitment to the smooth running of all tertiary institutions in the country and the provision of specialist healthcare to Nigerians but urge the Federal Government to urgently meet the above demands in order to avert this avoidable industrial action.

Resident Doctors To Begin Indefinite Strike On Thursday

A file photo of doctors during a protest.

 

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) will embark on a nationwide strike from Thursday, its leaders have said.

In a statement jointly signed by NARD President, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi; its Secretary-General, Dr Jerry Isogun, and its Publicity/Social Secretary, Dr Dotun Osikoya, the union said the industrial action would be total and indefinite, should the Federal Government fail to meet its demands.

It explained that the decision to go on strike was taken at the extraordinary National Executive Council of the union held on Saturday at the National Hospital in Abuja.

During the meeting attended by over 50 chapters of the association across the country, the doctors reviewed the earlier ultimatum given to the government and scheduled to expire on Wednesday.

Burning issues affecting residency training, healthcare delivery, and welfare of the unio members also formed major discussions at the meeting.

In their resolutions, the doctors called for the immediate payment of all salaries owed to all house officers, including March salaries before the end of March 31.

They also asked the government to commence the immediate payment of all salary arrears, including March salaries to their members in all Federal and state tertiary health institutions.

The union resolved to call for the upward review of the current hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers, as well as the payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance.

They also sought the immediate abolishment of the exorbitant bench fees being paid by their members on outside postings in all training Institutions.

A communique issued at the end of the NEC meeting read:

PREAMBLE

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) held an extraordinary National Executive Council meeting on the 27th of March 2021 at the Trauma Center in National Hospital Abuja to review her earlier ultimatum and deliberate on burning issues affecting Residency Training, Healthcare Delivery and the Welfare of her members across the country.

The NEC was attended by over 50 Chapters of the Association across the country. After extensive deliberations, the following observations and resolutions were made;

OBSERVATIONS

The NEC observed that her earlier ultimatum given to the Federal Government during the January 2021 NEC meeting in Owerri will expire by 12 midnight on the 31st of March 2021 with no significant achievement.

The NEC reiterated her full support for the Central Placement of House Officers. Nevertheless, they decried the agony our members have been made to pass through for three months now without salaries despite uninterrupted service delivery to the nation. This is due to the inefficiency of the Registrar of MDCN in handling the processes of central placement of House Officers as approved by the Federal Executive Council since 2017.

The NEC bemoaned the suffering of some of our members in GIFMIS platform who have not been paid salaries for four months now due to delay in biometric capturing by IPPIS department.

They lamented the inhumane treatment been meted on our members in some State Tertiary Institutions like ABSUTH being owed twenty months salaries, IMSUTH five months salaries and UNIMEDTH three months salaries.

The NEC also observed that despite the three months window given to the Federal Government to review the hazard allowance of health workers, the hazard allowance has remained a paltry sum of five thousand (5000) naira monthly.

The NEC noted that despite the efforts of NARD, the erroneously paid 2020 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) to non-resident Doctors is yet to be addressed. Also, 2019, some of 2020 and 2021 MRTF are yet to be paid.

The NEC also observed the non-implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act (MRTA) in some institutions in the country, especially state-owned institutions.

The NEC noted the non-payment of the arrears of Salary shortfall dating back to 2014 to our members across the country including State-owned Tertiary Institutions.

The NEC observed that up till now none of our members have benefited from the Death in Service Insurance Scheme despite our constant engagement with the relevant stakeholders with the data of our colleagues who died in service to the nation.

The NEC noted the irregular and exorbitant amounts being paid as Bench Fees by our members on outside postings.

The NEC observed with dismay that the Act regulating Postgraduate Medical Training in Nigeria established in 1979 is yet to be reviewed.

They observed the alarming rate of brain drain of doctors and other health workers to foreign countries in the face of a severe shortage of manpower in all Government-owned hospitals across the country. This is because of lack of employment in most hospitals, poor remuneration, and poor conditions of service in the health sector.

The NEC noted the efforts put in by the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives, federal Ministries of Health, Labour & Employment and the Chairman, Committee on Health, federal House of Representatives in trying to resolve the issue of non-payment of salaries of our house officers. However, these have not yielded the desired results.

RESOLUTIONS

The NEC unanimously agreed that NARD should proceed on a total and indefinite strike on the 1st of April 2021, by 8am if the following demands are not met.

Immediate Payment of all salaries owed to all house officers including March salaries (regardless of quota system) before the end of business on the 31st of March 2021.

Immediate payment of all salary arrears including March salaries for our members in all Federal (GIFMIS platform) and State Tertiary Health Institutions across the country especially ASUTH, IMSUTH, and UNIMEDTH.

Upward review of the current hazard allowance to 50% of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance especially in State owned-tertiary Institutions.

Abolishment of the exorbitant bench fees being paid by our members on outside postings in all Training Institutions across the country with immediate effect.

Payment of Salary shortfalls of 2014, 2015, and 2016 to our members in all Federal Institutions including state-owned institutions as earlier agreed with NARD.

Payment of death in service insurance for all health workers who died as a result of COVID-19 infection or other infectious diseases in the country.

Universal domestication/implementation of the 2017 MRTA by all Federal Government and State-owned Training Institutions to ensure proper funding of Residency Training in the country as stipulated by the Act.

Immediate payment of 2019, the balance of 2020 and 2021 Medical Residency Training Funds (MRTF) to our members including those under state government employ.

Immediate implementation of September 2017 Memorandum of Terms of Settlement (MOTOS) between NARD and the Federal Government of Nigeria in order to bring lasting peace to the health sector and curb the ongoing ugly trend of brain drain from the health sector.

Immediate review of the Act regulating Postgraduate Medical Training in Nigeria in line with International Best Practices to remove the unnecessary rigors in Residency Training in Nigeria, one of the factors attributed to brain drain in the health sector.

Immediate commencement of employment into all Government-owned hospitals to improve service delivery to Nigerians, enhance Residency Training, and curb the attendant brain drain in the health sector.

It also demanded the reintroduction of medical super salary structure and specialist allowance for all Doctors as already approved for some other health workers. This will go a long way in ensuring peace in the health sector.

The NEC unanimously demanded the sack of the Registrar of MDCN for failure to demonstrate competence in the handling of the central placement of house officers. This will give room for smooth implementation of the central placement of house officers without further delays.

Finally, the NEC reiterated her commitment to the smooth running of all tertiary institutions in the country and the provision of specialist healthcare to Nigerians but urge the Federal Government to urgently meet the above demands in order to avert this avoidable industrial action.

APPRECIATION

On behalf of the entire membership of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, the National Executive Council expresses their heartfelt gratitude to the following distinguished individuals for their continuous support to our struggle for a better healthcare system in Nigeria.

The Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator (Dr) Chris Ngige.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and the Director, Hospital Services Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi.

The Chairman, Committee on Health, Federal House of Representatives, Hon Dr Tanko Sununu.

The CMD, National Hospital Abuja and Chairman, Committee of CMDs in Nigeria, Dr Jaf Momoh.

The President, Nigeria Medical Association, Prof (Dr) Innocent Ujah mni.

Long live NARD.

Long live NMA.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Financial Autonomy: Parliamentary Workers Commence Indefinite Strike

Some parliamentary workers protest at the National Assembly in Abuja on March 9, 2021.

 

The national leadership of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) has declared an indefinite strike across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

At a press briefing on Monday in Abuja, PASAN National President, Usman Mohammed, directed members of the union to embark on industrial action from Tuesday morning.

He explained that directive became necessary following the unwillingness of the Federal Government to implement the Financial Autonomy Act of 2018 and Presidential Order 10.

Mohammed, who noted that the union had explored all available options to avert the strike, decried that their efforts had yet to yield any positive result.

“The union having exhausted all attempts aimed at asking for the implementation of the financial autonomy by the Federal Government after 21 days, 14 days and seven days ultimatums; at this juncture, the union has no other option than to direct our members to embark on an indefinite strike,” he said.

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According to the PASAN president, the union has been magnanimous by allowing ample time in the last two years for the government, through the Presidential Implementation Committee on Financial Autonomy for State Judiciary and Legislature, to implement the provisions of the Constitution.

He added that members of the union have run out of patience and have resolved to put an end to further delays to the implementation of the Financial Autonomy Act.

The parliamentary workers say the industrial action will be indefinite.

 

“The union will, consequently, commence strike action on the morning of Tuesday, March 23, 2021, until full implementation of the letters of our constitution, as provided in section 121 (3) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and Presidential Order 10,2020,” Mohammed stated.

The parliamentary workers downed tools two weeks after they staged a protest at the gate of the National Assembly in Abuja.

During the demonstration which held on March 9, they had threatened to continue the protest and occupy all State Houses of Assembly if their demands were not met.

The workers had also called on the members of the National Assembly to take the necessary steps to ensure the implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary.

Resident Doctors Threaten To Resume Strike

Logo of the National Association of resident Doctors (NARD).

 

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has threatened to go on strike over the failure of the Federal Government to address their demands and implement the agreements reached with the association since last year.

In a communique issued on Tuesday and signed by NARD President, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, after a virtual National Executive Meeting, the association resolved to proceed on a recess after their if their demands are not acceded to by the government.

Among their demands include the immediate payment of the salaries of members, the payment of all minimum wage and other salary arrears to its members nationwide without further delay and the immediate implementation of 50% of consolidated basic Salary as Hazard allowance for all healthcare workers.

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Others are the immediate payment of the Medical Residency Fund for 2021 with the arrears of 2019 and 2020 inclusive, that all training institutions be directed to stop the collection of Bench Fee from its members since it was not captured in the Residency Training Fund as approved, and that all clinical health workers be considered for COVID-19 vaccination and other issues affecting efficient health care delivery in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic including adequate provision of PPEs be addressed.

The association warned that should the Federal Government fail to implement the demands, its members would have no choice but to proceed on indefinite strike pending when the demands are met.

Taraba ASUU Declares Indefinite Strike

Strike: Students Ask Taraba Govt Address Issues Raised By Lecturers

 

The Taraba State University chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has declared a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike action to press home their demands.

According to ASUU Chairman, Samuel Shitaa, the union’s demands include the non-availability of the pension scheme, earned academic allowances, perimeter fencing among several others in the institution.

The declaration of the strike is coming a few days after the state government paid off the four months’ salary arrears owed academic staff of the institution.

“The outstanding salaries are not the issues in contention, because we are agitating for our rights. One of our issues on the ground is that of the pension scheme, which the institution has no arrangement to that effect,” he said.

“On the issue of earned academic allowances, it has not been attended to since 2013. We mentioned the issue of perimeter fence and they said they have started, but from what we have since no significant progress made so far.

“I want you all to understand that the strike that has been declared is not only the branch that is in control of the strike, this is because the procedure has been followed with the national ASUU stepping in to interact and see progress in terms of commitment, but it has failed,” he added.

But the Vice-Chancellor of Taraba State University, Vincent Ado-Tenebe, disagreed with the ASUU’s chairman, claiming the union’s demands have been met.

Ado-Tenebe expressed shock over their strike action despite a series of meetings with the union to find a lasting solution to their demands.

“What they are supposed to say correctly should have been that what they are having is not enough and I can tell you that anywhere in the world, there is no educational institution that will tell that they have 100 per cent of the funding that they require,” he said.

“Having a strike all the time is not the best way to solve our problems. We have funding to a percentage, even though it is not 100%, but to say that the government is insensitive and not doing anything is totally wrong.

“What they are talking about is the contributory insurance scheme, which is a new law in the country and as I speak to you, I will like to remind you that no ministry, department, parastatal or agency in Taraba has started that scheme yet.

“Staff of the university have been demanding that they want to start the pension scheme, I got an approval for commencement, yet none of them could open a pension account or get pension administrators for management to utilize, how then can we make the payment without any account to pay into?” he added.