Polytechnic Lecturers Suspend 65-Day-Old Strike

The Academic Staff Union Of Polytechnics (ASUP) has suspended its 65-day-old strike.

The decision to suspend the strike followed an appraisal of the report indicating the gradual implementation of the items contained in the Memorandum of Action signed between the Union and the Federal Government.

According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the National Publicity Secretary, Abdullahi Yalwa, the suspension of the strike will take effect from June 10.

“The suspension is for a period of three months to enable the government complete the execution of the items contained in the Memorandum of Action signed with the Union since 27th April 2021,” the statement read.

It added: “as part of the efforts communicated by the Federal Ministry of Education, certain items have been fulfilled like the reconstitution and inauguration of governing councils and visitation panels in Nigerian Federal Polytechnics while we are led to believe that the release of funds for infrastructure revitalization and minimum wage arrears is currently being processed.

“Other items include the ongoing efforts at the review of the Scheme of Service and Conditions of Service for Polytechnics as well as the commencement of work towards resolution of the issues around CONTISS 15 migration arrears for the lower cadre. We also acknowledge the recent passage of the Bill for removal of the dichotomy against HND holders in the country”.

In reaching the decision to suspend the strike, the union said it took into cognizance the appeals made by the government, revered traditional stools in the country, members of the National Assembly, Chairmen of Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics and members of the public who showed varied interests in the matter.

“It is the expectation of our Union that the suspension of this action will provide an enabling environment for the government to fulfill other aspects of the Memorandum of Action and afford the government an opportunity to reverse its trust deficit within our sector.

“We equally appreciate the different layers of intervention by critical stakeholder groups in the sector within the period,” Abdullahi Yalwa said.

Despite NLC Calling Off Strike, Power Yet To Be Restored – Kaduna Govt

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

The Kaduna State Government has said that despite the suspension of strike by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), power is yet to be restored in the state, thereby inflicting pain on residents of the state.

NLC had embarked on a five-day industrial to protest the recent disengagement of civil servants by the state government.

In solidarity with the protest by the NLC, aviation workers shut down operations of Kaduna International Airport (KIA) effective Sunday midnight.

Other affiliate unions including the National Union of Petroleum Employees of Nigeria (NUPENG), National Union of Electricity Employees of Nigeria (NUEE), National Union Of Textile, Tailoring and Garment Workers of Nigeria are also participating in the protest.

READ ALSO: NLC Suspends Strike In Kaduna

The striking workers suspended the strike on Wednesday to honour a meeting called by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige to resolve the rift it has with the Kaduna State Government.

But Muyiwa Adekeye, the spokesman of the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, seem not to be pleased with the decision, accusing the workers of resorting to blackmail.

“Electric power is yet to be restored after it was shut down at dawn on Sunday, 16th May 2021, in brazen violation of the laws protecting essential services and infrastructure,” he said via a statement.

“That action removed any basis for state government officials to meet the NLC last Sunday. Denying our people electricity about 18 hours to the advertised commencement of their organised sabotage was akin to putting a gun on the government’s head. Government has a lawful duty not to indulge in blackmail.

“The Kaduna State Government is yet to see evidence that the NLC is backing off from its campaign of economic and social sabotage against the people of the State.

“Restoring electricity is vital to relieving some of the pain that needless acts of lawlessness have inflicted on our people. The unimpeded provision of essential services is vital to civilised order.

“Those who have disrupted it should promptly reverse themselves, not expect that it will be a matter for negotiation, much less being viewed as a precondition. KDSG will not participate in such a negotiation or countenance one whilst our people are still being denied their right to electricity.”

Workers’ Sack: NLC To Shut Down Kaduna On Monday

 

Barring any last-minute change of mind, the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliate unions will on Monday embark on a five-day warning strike over the recent disengagement of civil servants by the state government.

The planned move followed Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s announcement in April to disengage civil servants in the state, citing fiscal reasons.

El-Rufai said a significant amount of the statutory federal allocations to the state is being spent on the wages of public servants.

But the NLC has vowed to resist the action of the state government, accusing the governor of not being sensitive to the plight of the workers.

Speaking in Kaduna on Sunday, the NLC Chairman in the state, Ayuba Suleiman, disclosed that the industrial action will be accompanied by a peaceful protest which will be led by the President of the Union, Ayuba Wabba and other labour leaders across the country.

NLC President, Ayuba Wabba speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on May 3, 2021.

 

He explained that the strike which will involve grounding of all socio-economic activities in both public and private sectors in a bid to force the Kaduna State Government to reverse the sack of over 7,000 local government workers and teachers and also suspend its plan to sack another 11,000 civil servants any moment from now.

READ ALSO: SERAP Writes Lawan, Gbajabiamila, Seeks Probe Of Missing N4.1bn NASS Funds

“We are very much ready for the industrial action on Monday and it is going to be a dual activity. We are embarking on the withdrawal of activities and equally going to stage a peaceful protest come Monday to press home our demand, grievances to the state government,” he said.

“I want to assure you that this industrial action is going to be under the care of our amiable President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba. We have had series of meetings today, we met with various stakeholders including all sectors of the economy in the state towards the success of this industrial action.

“In total, you have about 7,700 workers that are disengaged at the local government level. As I am talking to you, over 11,000 workers of the state civil service are pencilled for disengagement. That is why in this April, because of their intention, over 20,000 workers have not yet received their April salary.”

But reacting, the Kaduna State Government defended its decision, saying it is in the interest of over 10 million citizens of the state.

The Commissioner for Local Government, Jafaru Sani, said not even the threat of industrial action or blackmail by the union will make the state government to reverse its decision.

He also debunked the claims of the labour union that the government has pencilled down over 11,000 workers for disengagement,  adding that there are plans to right-size its public service, but however did give the figures.

The Commissioner explained that the government’s decision to lay off some workers and political appointees is necessary to enable it cope with fiscal challenges and preserve its ability to use its resources for the entire state.

He also denied the allegations of anti-labour activities, stressing that Kaduna State workers have been receiving the new minimum wage since 2019.

The commissioner said: “This government has reiterated its commitment to the welfare of its workers. It insists that this is sustainable only in the context of the general welfare of residents of the state that the government is mandated to serve.

“It is not sustainable to persist in spending 84 to 96 per cent of the FAAC received on salaries and personnel cost as has been the experience of the state since October 2020.”

Despite FG’s ₦15bn Offer, ASUP Vows To Continue Strike

National President of ASUP, Anderson Ezeibe insists that the union’s proposed strike must commence till all demands are met by the Federal Government.

 

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has vowed to continue with its nationwide industrial action despite a ₦15bn offered by the Federal Government.

ASUP had commenced strike on April 6 declared a strike, demanding the implementation of a new salary scheme for polytechnic lecturers.

ASUP had explained that its decision to the down tool was to draw the attention of the government to the nine basic needs of the union, adding that the need to release the 10 months in arrears of the new minimum wage owed its members in Federal Polytechnics and the implementation of same in the several States yet to implement the new minimum wage.

READ ALSO: ASUP Faults FG Over Appointment Of Rectors For 6 New Polytechnics

But briefing journalists on Friday in Abuja, ASUP’s President, Anderson Ezeibe, said the strike will still continue.

“Our union received offers from the government during the meetings for the release of an infrastructural revitalisation fund of ₦15billion for the sector and this is in lieu of the NEEDS Assessment report of 2014,” he said.

“Following the considerations of the offers as presented, the National Executive Council of our union yesterday resolved to sustain the strike action until the unresolved details in the offer as presented are sorted out in the meetings expected in the coming days.”

Speaking further, Ezeibe said two out of three scheduled meetings with the Federal Government have held and some of the demands met, including the release of ten months’ salaries arrears for members among others.

The demands met include the reconstitution and inauguration of the governing council of all federal polytechnics which were dissolved in 2020.

ASUP’s president explained that the strike will only be suspended after seeing the actual implementation of some of those offers by the FG.

JUSUN Strike: Lagos Court Remain Shut Despite Partial Reopening Order

Members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) embark of the strike in Abuja on April 19, 2021.

 

Despite the partial reopening of operations by the Lagos Chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), a court in the state will remain shut.

This is according to the National body of JUSUN which declared a nationwide strike on April 6 over the refusal of state governors to implement the financial autonomy for the judiciary as the third arm of government.

JUSUN’s counter directive comes hours after the Lagos State Chapter of JUSUN said it had relaxed its strike rules to allow for clearance of backlogs, reading of Judgement and decongestion of prison occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the# EndSARS protest.

READ ALSO: Lawyers March To NASS, As Judiciary Workers Begin Nationwide Protest

Chairman of JUSUN in Lagos, Shobowale Kehinde, said, “Work and official duties are constrained to Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of every week, while Monday and Tuesdays of every week remain strike days that all staff must stay off duty to observe the national strike.”

When Channels Television monitored the Lagos courts to see whether it had opened for partial work, we met the gate of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja firmly shut with members of the Lagos JUSUN monitoring compliance.

A few judiciary workers who had shown up for work said off-camera that they were not allowed into the court premises.

A representative of the Lagos Chapter of JUSUN said that though the chapter was sympathetic to the partial resumption of work, the National body had overruled the decision and directed the Lagos branch to resume full strike.

‘Nigerians Have Been Denied Good Governance’, Ubani Backs JUSUN Strike

 

A former Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Monday Ubani has backed the strike embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), saying Nigerians have been denied good governance.

JUSUN had on April 6 declared a nationwide strike to press home its demands, thereby crippling activities in courts and judicial institutions across the country.

Just yesterday, members of the union in collaboration with the NBA also protested against the failure of the governor to allow financial autonomy in states.

But speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, Ubani accused Nigerian governors of controlling the judicial and legislative arms of government.

READ ALSO: Lawyers March To NASS, As Judiciary Workers Begin Nationwide Protest

“I see no reason why we have delayed so much but somebody has also pointed out that the governors actually wanted a situation whereby they will be in total control of the other two arms of government and that is why Nigerians have not been getting good governance,” he said.

Former Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Monda Ubani speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily in Lagos on April 20, 2021.

 

“Both at the judicial and parliamentary levels, these governors when they come in, want to control the State House of Assembly, determine who becomes the Speaker and fail to give them that particular independence they require in order to checkmate what goes on at the Executive.”

When asked why it is taking so long for governors to grant financial autonomy to judicial workers, the legal practitioner said “they were deriving so much pleasure in the undue control they have exerted over the other two arms of government over time.”

Giving an instance, the senior lawyer said when governors purchase vehicles for judges in their states; they invite the press and create a situation to suggest they are doing the jurists a favour.

While declaring the move as an aberration, Ubani commended JUSUN for embarking on the industrial action, insisting that the strike is long overdue.

Since April 6, courts in Nigeria have been under lock and key because of the non-implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary as the third arm of government.

JUSUN had alleged that the Federal and State governments had over the years, declined to grant financial autonomy to the judiciary.

The NBA President had earlier on Friday directed its branch chairmen nationwide to lead “visits” to government houses in their states over the 36 governors’ alleged unwillingness to implement judiciary’s financial autonomy.

A statement by the president of the association, Olumide Akpata, directed the branch chairmen to lead the “visits”, which are more like peaceful protests, on Monday, and on all other subsequent Mondays until the demand for the judiciary’s financial autonomy is met.

It urged the branch leaders “to effectively mobilise their members” for the “visit to the governors at the state government houses” to press home the demand.

Ekiti Varsity Workers Protest Over Unpaid Allowances

Some workers of the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti converged at the school to protest the non-payment of their salaries on April 19, 2021.

 

Lecturers and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities at the Ekiti State University have occupied the campus to press home their pending demands from the state government and the university management.

The protesters occupied the university on Monday causing a standstill of traffic and activities on campus for over two hours.

They were singing solidarity songs and vowed to increase the intensity of the protest day by day.

The unions are aggrieved that the state government has not met their demands for payment of three months’ salary arrears dated 2018, six years of earned academic allowances and unremitted cooperative deductions among other demands.

The Chairman Academic Staff Union of Universities, EKSU Chapter, Mr. Kayode Arogundade accused the state Governor of shunning several appeals from the Union and other intermediaries.

“As of today, Ekiti State Government is only subverting EKSU by 50% of its monthly wage bills, without paying any considerable attention to capital grants and infrastructural developments,” he said.

“This has led EKSU Administration to ingloriously indulge in financial infractions, such as Subversion of Tax Deductions to paying salaries; Diversion of Pension deductions to paying salaries and Fund diversion from s units of the University.

READ ALSO: Amotekun Arrest Over 250 Cows For Destroying Farmlands, Crops In Ondo Communities

“This is just the beginning; we are going to do this until we occupy the government house. After all, we are asking for our rights. If we go on strike the children of ordinary Nigerians will be home, the VC and Chairman of Council will be at home spending our money, the governor will be at home spending our resources.

“Before we go on strike, we will make this state ungovernable for them, we’ll make this school ungovernable for them.”

The unions vowed to go beyond the usual strike action this time as they have threatened to make the university and state ungovernable until their requests are granted.

But the state government has blamed the situation on over-bloated recruitment done by the immediate past administration and the inability of EKSU to meet its own portion of subvention.

Special Adviser to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Tertiary Education, Sikiru Eniola pleaded with the protesters to embrace dialogue and also find alternative funding channels in the face of dwindling revenue.

See Photos Below:

Financial Autonomy: Lawyers Visit Lagos Govt House In Support Of JUSUN Strike

Members of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) hold a solidarity protest at the Lagos House in Ikeja over the JUSUN nationwide strike.

 

The Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch has held a solidarity protest with the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to demand the implementation of the financial autonomy of the judiciary.

Led by its Chairman, Bartholomew Aguegbodo, members of the branch on Monday walked from the bar center of the Lagos High Court Ikeja to the Governor’s Office in Alausa.

The gate of the Government House was shut when they arrived but at least three different people came out to meet with the lawyers who insisted on handing over the letter containing their demands to the Governor, his Deputy, or the Head of Service.

The lawyers were later prevailed on to send their representatives to go into the government house to drop the letter.

Four of them including the Chairman went in while other members waited outside.

They were gone for less than 20 minutes and on arrival, the Chairman of the branch said the letter was received by a certain Mr Deji, the officer in charge of mails who would make sure that the Governor receives it. He also said they were fine with the arrangement.

Meanwhile, Channels Television’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele has learned that four of the NBA Branches in the state, namely Lagos, Ikorodu, Epe and Badagry have agreed to pay a “visit” to the Governors’ office on Tuesday in line with the directive from the NBA President, Olumide Akpata.

READ ALSO: Financial Autonomy: Security Agents Lock NASS Gate, Deny Protesting Lawyers Entry

The branch chairmen were said to have met over the weekend via WhatsApp to agree on modalities for the visit and have resolved to deliver a ‘joint letter’ to press home the demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary

Channels Television confirmed that efforts to make the Ikeja branch join the other branches in the visit tomorrow met a brick wall, as the branch insisted that it had resolved at its last monthly meeting to embark on a “protest march,” today, even before the directive from the NBA President.

The NBA had on Friday night directed its branch chairmen nationwide to mobilise their members and visit their respective state governors to demand the implementation of the financial autonomy of the judiciary.

In a press statement personally signed by its President, the association said “at the visit, the branches in each state are to present a jointly written demand to the state governors requesting full compliance with existing legislative instruments and court judgments on the financial autonomy of the judiciary.”

See Photos Below:

 

Your Demands Will Be Met In Four Weeks, Gbajabiamila Assures Resident Doctors

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has assured the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) that their demands would be met in four weeks’ time.

He gave this assurance on Tuesday when he visited the NARD headquarters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

NARD President, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, had on April 12 asked the Federal Government to honour its agreement with the union, warning that should the government fail to honour its agreement in the next four weeks, they would be forced to declare another indefinite nationwide industrial action.

“We have been given a leap of faith to believe in the system and we hope and pray that the system does not fail us,” he said during his appearance on the Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

But the Speaker, after listening to their demands, promised that the government is doing all within its power to ensure the doctors do not down their tools.

READ ALSO: Doctors Threaten To Resume Strike In Four Weeks If Demands Are Not Met

“We have made some progress, headway. We have been talking, this is not the first. The Chairman of the Health Committee is here and he has been briefing us,” he said.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has assured Resident Doctors that their demands will be met in four weeks time after visiting their Abuja Secretariat on April 13, 2021.

 

He explained that the Federal Government appreciated their efforts in saving lives and the importance of their profession and is doing everything possible to avert another industrial action.

The Speaker added, “That has led to the suspension of the strike for four weeks. I believe that before the four weeks is up, we will be able to cement the deal.

“There is a Memorandum of Action signed between the Resident Doctors and the Government. We will make sure that is followed as best as we can. You understand the importance of these guys, we can’t afford to let them lay down their tools.”

On his part, the association’s President told Gbajabiamila that he is confident that their demands will be met within the 4-week grace period given before they embark on another strike.

Okhuaihesuyi said, “With the Honourable Speaker coming to the Secretariat, we have been able to achieve some more commitments in response to why we called off the strike.

“As it stands, most of the House Officers are getting paid their salaries. The ones left are those that have some bank failures and are being treated on as we speak.”

The resident doctors commenced an indefinite strike on April 1 after a meeting with a government delegation on March 31 ended in a deadlock.

The strike had crippled activities in tertiary hospitals across the country and left many patients and their relatives stranded.

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.