By Chimezie Godfrey
UPDATED- The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), has suspended the ongoing nationwide indefinite strike action.
In a press briefing on Sunday in Abuja, the President, Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, said that the decision to suspend the strike action was part of the resolution arrived at from an extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on the 20th of June, 2020.
Dr Sokomba added that the suspension of the strike is also intended to give room for further negotiations.
“NEC resolved to suspend the ongoing indefinite strike action with effect from Monday 22nd of June 2020 by 8:am prompt.
“The National Officers shall continue negotiations with stakeholders and progress made shall be reviewed in four weeks during the next National Executive Council meeting in July, 2020.
“This decision to suspend the strike action was taken in order to give the federal and state government time to fulfill the outstanding demands following an appeal by the Speaker of the Federal House of Representative, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairman Nigeria Governors Forum and other stakeholders,” he said.
The NARD President disclosed that prior to their resolve to call off the strike, they observed that government had shown commitment to resolve some of the pressing issues such as the procurement of group life insurance for health workers.
He mentioned that on the salary shortfall for 2014 -2016, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation has promised to intervene.
Sokomba noted that the disengaged resident doctors at Jos University Teaching Hospital have been reinstated.
He said that the Chief Medical Director has also been directed to pay their withheld salaries and comply with the provisions of the Medical Residency Training Act (MRTA).
He added that training fund has been included in the revised 2020 budget through the intervention of the Speaker, House of Representative and will be implemented as soon as the budget is assented to by the President.
Sokomba stressed that they were waiting for the fulfilment of the promise by the Nigerian Governors Forum to ensure that same is done to all the states.
He decried that the hazard allowance has only been paid to twelve hospitals in Nigeria, and called for the sustained supply of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).