The President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration might consider relieving members of the National Association of Resident Doctors of their duties if the industrial action exceeds a specified date.
In view of the ongoing nationwide strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Government may sack the striking doctors if the strike persists beyond Friday, September 8, 2017.
This was contained in a fresh memorandum of terms of settlement reached at the end of a meeting held at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, with executives of the Nigerian Medical Association, NARD, Chief Medical Directors, the ministry of Health including other relevant government officials, and made available to newsmen in the early hours of Thursday in Abuja.
Ngige had strongly condemned the strike embarked upon by NARD, despite signing a Memorandum of Terms of Settlement, saying it was a distrust of Government commitment to execute its own end of the Terms of Settlement which was in line with the provisions of Section 5 of the Trade Disputes Act, CAP. T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004.
“The meeting agreed that NARD National Officers are to present the outcome of the re-negotiated Memorandum of Terms of Settlement to an emergency meeting of its members by Friday September 8, 2017 with a view to suspending the strike once there is evidence of payment of the Mandate as presented to the meeting, to the affected Institutions.
“No member of NARD will be victimised as a result of this strike if suspended, after the Emergency Meeting of Friday, September 8, 2017,” the settlement read in parts.
In Governments effort to address the six point issues of concern to NARD, the memorandum noted that the Federal Tertiary Health Institutions, FTHI, on list A of the document earlier submitted by NARD, have been authenticated by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, OAGF, and expected to receive payments on or before Friday, September 8, 2017, while the second batch on list B mandate would be treated as soon as their Authority to Incur Expenditure was sent to OAGF.
On failure to rectify the salary shortfall from August 2017, “It is expected that the 100% payment will be implemented as from October 2017, as September salaries were already at advanced stage of preparation. However, any shortfall that occurs will be treated together with that of August, 2017.”
This in addition to a promise to entirely address the House Officers’ Pay amounting to approximately N422, 564,729.34 by the end of October, 2017, which would be captured in the 2018 budget.
Furthermore, the Federal Government has promised to make an appeal to state governments and organisations owing health workers salary shortfalls and emoluments, to endeavour to liquidate all arrears in the spirit of revamping the health care sector.
Meanwhile, NARD has said its members are not intimidated by the pronouncements of government if they decide to proceed on the ongoing nationwide strike after Friday.
Speaking to New Telegraph in a Telephone conversation, the National Publicity and Social Secretary NARD, Dr Ugoeze Asinobi, noted that NARD was used to such pronouncements by government.
“We are not deterred from doing what is right for the growth and development of our members. Government cannot intimidate us into deciding to suspend the strike.
“We are yet to decide on when to hold the emergency meeting, but when we do, whatever stand we reach with our members is what we will do. If our members are not satisfied with the terms of agreement reached at the conciliatory meeting, we will forge ahead,” he said.