3 Week Old NARD Strike to Be Called-Off as FG and Doctors Agree on New Terms

The Nigerian Association of Residents Doctors is expected to sign a new agreement with the Nigerian Federal Government today in a bid to end the three-week-old strike by the doctors.

The two parties held a marathon meeting on Friday where the various issues were discussed and sorted out, the spokesman of The Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan said in a statement on Saturday, titled, ‘An end in sight for NARD strike as doctors/ FG agree on all issues.’

The meeting which had the most high-powered representation since negotiations with doctors stretched for 11 hours, ending 1 a.m. Saturday, with all the consolidated 12-point demand by NARD, the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria and other affiliates of NMA resolved.

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In his address, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said President Buhari has directed him to avoid every technicality and re-commence conciliation.

He insisted the present administration has made more investment in the health sector, and for doctors and other health professionals than the previous administrations, and dismissed insinuations that the non-keeping of agreements by the Federal Government was at the root of incessant doctors’ strike.

The Minister of State for Health, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, urged the doctors to end their strike in the interest of the nation as the government tries to meet their demands.

However, the President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Professor Innocent Ujah stressed that the strike was avoidable and blamed some government functionaries for not playing their roles.

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“As doctors, we are trained to prevent disease, cure illnesses and promote health but not trained to go on strike,” and regretted that circumstances force the doctors otherwise.

Professor Ujah however, thanked the Health Minister, Chris Ngige for going the extra mile to ensure that officers across Ministries and agencies who are relevant to tackling the doctors’ demands are put on their toes.

He further said: “At the close door, the meeting tackled and resolved all the 12-point issues such as payment of House Doctors where Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria tabled evidence to show that 2800 doctors have been paid and efforts ongoing to sort the outstanding 144; the N4.8B Residency Training Fund which the Budget Office assured would be paid in seven days.

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