Resume negotiation with FG today
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
After a meeting of its National Executive Committee (NEC) held yesterday, the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has vowed to continue its ongoing strike until the federal and state governments concede to its demands.
The leaders of the association will however meet with the Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige in Abuja, today.
But in a communiqué issued at the end of a virtual extraordinary NEC meeting, signed by NARD’s President, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, association said that the NEC had unanimously voted that the ongoing strike that started on April 1, would continue.
“The strike will last until the federal and state governments meet our demands.
“We want to use this medium to reiterate our commitment to the smooth running of all tertiary institutions in the country, and the provision of specialised healthcare to all Nigerians.
“However, we need to first of all care for our own health and welfare in order to give standard care to our patients, which is in line with the physician’s oath,” the communiqué reads.
NARD claimed the NEC had observed that in spite of efforts by the National Officers Committee, to ensure that the Federal Government did the needful to prevent the strike, it failed to do so.
It noted that NARD had given two months ultimatum before going on the strike when it became apparent that the Ministry of Health was not interested in any form of settlement to avert the industrial action.
It expressed disappointment over the way and manner the government was passing “spurious” information to the public. The resident doctors also faulted the government for not holding a reconciliatory meeting at the expiration of the ultimatum on March 31.
They said, “`Without prejudice to labour laws and other extant laws of the land, the industrial action had already begun before the MOA was signed, and as such, not tenable.”
Meanwhile, the Minister for Labour and Employment, Ngige will be meeting with the association today.
A statement issued by the Deputy Director and Head of Press and Public Relations at the ministry, Mr. Charles Akpan said the meeting was scheduled to hold at the Minister’s Conference Room by 3pm.