THE National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has called off its strike action, following a meeting with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) in Abuja.
At a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, the President of NARD, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, announced the suspension of the strike, which the association embarked upon on June 15.
He announced that the National Executive Council (NEC) of the association resolved to suspend the indefinite strike with effect from Monday June 22.
According to Sokomba: “The national officers shall continue negotiations with stakeholders and progress made shall be reviewed in four weeks during the next NEC meeting in July.
“The decision to suspend the strike was taken in order to give the Federal and State governments time to fulfill the outstanding demands following an appeal by the Speaker of House of Representatives, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chairman Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and other stakeholders.”
He acknowledged the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in some hospitals but stated the need for sustained supplies.
He also noted that the “NEC observed that COVID-19 inducement allowance has only been paid to 11 federal health institutions and most state governments are yet to review the hazard allowance of health workers.”
Sokomba disclosed that the Medical Residency Training fund had been included in the revised 2020 budget through the intervention of House of Reps Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila and would be implemented as soon as the president signed the budget.
Despite the developments, he hoped that the Federal Government would deliver on its promises in the next four weeks.
The NARD president said: “At the same time, we await the fulfillment of the promise made by the NGF to ensure same is done in all the states.
“On the salary shortfall for 2014-2016, the SGF has promised to intervene.
“Government has shown commitment to secure group life insurance for health workers.
“The disengaged resident doctors at Jos University Teaching Hospital have been reinstated, the Chief Medical Director has been directed to pay their withheld salaries and comply with the provisions of the Medical Residency.
“On State Tertiary Health Institutions (STHIs), the Chairman of NGF, Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi and the Forum’s Director General Mr Asishana Okauru, appealed for time to discuss with other governors.
“The governors are those of Kogi, Gombe, Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Enugu, Anabara, Abia and Imo for immediate pay parity with the corrected CONMESS of 2019 and that salary shortfalls due our members will be paid shortly.
“NARD also met with Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, who gave his words to favourably look into all challenges of our members in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso with a view to abiding by the international standard.”