FG, striking doctors sign fresh agreement to end action

The Federal Government on Saturday signed a Memorandum Action (MoA) with striking Nigeria Association Resident Doctors (NARD) end the action.

The MoA was the second fortnight. The first one was signed on March 31, but was later rejected by the striking doctors.

Minister Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, said on Saturday in Abuja new MoA was signed after a conciliatory meeting between representatives the Federal Government and those NARD.

Ngige said Saturday’s meeting became necessary amend the first MoA signed with the striking doctors.

He said that there were irregularities in the payment of salaries of House Officers, adding that while some got double payments, a few had not been .

“In view of this , a five-man committee was set up harmonise the list of affected officers and they have 72 hours produce a valid list.

“The list will submitted to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System through the Federal Ministry of Health,’’ Ngige said.

He said health affected by the non-payment of salary shortfalls between 2014 and 2016 and arrears arising from the consequential adjustment on the National Minimum Wage, had been directed to forward their personnel strength.

“’This is to us to accommodate this in the 2021 supplementary budget,’’ he said.

The minister noted issue of Hazard Allowance was not peculiar to members of NARD but that it cut across the entire health system.

He said Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS) would meet with the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission on April 12 to examine the Hazard Allowance issue.

The minister added that the NMA, the Joint Health Sector Unions, NARD and other would meet on April 14, 2021 with the PCS with their position papers on the issue.

Ngige appealed to NARD to give the conciliation process a chance for industrial peace to prevail by calling off the strike.

NARD President, Dr Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, promised to present the latest agreement before members with a view to calling off the strike.

Resident doctors began a nationwide strike on April 1 to demand for improved welfare packages. (NAN)