The Oasis Reporters
September 14, 2017
Labour correspondents in Abuja received a forwarded text message on Thursday morning from Sen. Chris Ngige, the Nigerian Minister of Labour and Employment informing them that the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has resolved to suspend its strike embarked upon since September 4.
The NARD embarked on a nationwide indefinite strike to press home a six-point demand which included non-payment of salary arrears, sacking of some of their colleagues, non-payment of “skipping’’ entitlement and the non-inclusion in IPPIS platform.
Ngige said that the SMS was signed by Mr John Onyebueze, President of NARD.
The striking doctors in Nigerian hospitals have agreed to suspend their 10-day old industrial action, according to the SMS and have been directed to resume work nationwide on Friday 8.00 am local time, (07.00 GMT) .
“The union has resolved to suspend the strike and to re-assess the situation in two weeks at its Annual General Meeting in Abuja.
“The suspension is in response to the efforts so far made by the government in addressing the items on the notice of their ultimatum as well as implementing the contents of the re-negotiated memorandum of settlement,‘’ the message said.
The doctors action is however coming just as the Joint Health Sector Union have given notice to begin an indefinite strike on Wednesday next week.
Meanwhile, Dr Onyebueze John, President of NARD, confirmed that the strike has been called off following a meeting of the executive council late Wednesday night.
A statement from John said the doctors would meet again in two weeks to reassess the situation.”
The National Executive Council of NARD met from 6:00 pm Tuesday, 12th September to 12:15am Thursday, 14th September 2017 to review the status of their nationwide strike and the offer from Government in the re-negotiated Memorandum of Terms of Settlement (MTS) with Government.
”After due consideration of the efforts by Government and progress made in addressing the items on the notice of our ultimatum and strike, as well as implementing the contents of the re-negotiated MTS, NARD hereby resolves to suspend her 10 day old strike, and to reassess situation in two weeks at our AGM in Abuja,” the statement reads.
But feelers emanating from the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria’s premier Teaching Hospital say otherwise, that a decision would only be taken tomorrow morning.
A phone call placed by The Oasis reporters correspondent in Ibadan to the University College Hospital Thursday afternoon indicated that the strike action is still on.
“Resident doctors would hold a Congress Friday morning to take a decision. There is the likelihood that it will be called off tomorrow, but for today Thursday, it’s not true that the industrial action is over”, the source told us.
Efforts to reach Dr. Onyebueze John by telephone to confirm the veracity of Chris Ngige’s text message proved abortive.