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General News of Monday, 22 November 2021

Source: punchng.com

FG yet to withdraw suit, pay salaries - NARD

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Six weeks after resident doctors under the aegis of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors shelved their nationwide industrial action, the Federal Government had yet to meet some of the agreements it signed with the association in a Memorandum of Understanding.

The NARD had on October 4 shelved its two-month strike.

Among the grievances of the NARD was delay by the Federal Government in disbursing the Medical Residency Training Funds to resident doctors.

The association also decried undue hardship its members on the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System platform were facing due to the delays in payment of their salaries ranging from three to seven months.

During the period of strike, the Federal Government through the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, had issued a ‘no-work no-pay’ directive to Chief Medical Directors of hospitals with the directive that resident doctors should not be paid for the months they were absent from work.

The minister alongside the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, had also taken the doctors to the industrial court. After negotiations, NARD had some demands met. This led to the shelving of its strike.

Some of the conditions for shelving the strike included payment of residency training fund, review of hazard allowance, withdrawal of suit from the industrial court and also the payment of salary arrears.

Speaking with The PUNCH in Abuja, the National President of NARD, Godiya Ishaya, said the government had neither withdrawn the suit nor had it paid the arrears which it owed the association.

He said, “The case is still in court; it was in our Memorandum of Understanding that they would withdraw it as soon as we called off our strike. We have resumed for over six weeks now but the case is still in court. Even the salaries have not been paid.”

Attempts to reach Ngige and Ehanire proved abortive as they did not answer repeated calls put through to their lines. They were also yet to reply messages as of the time filing this story.

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