After two days of marathon meeting between Federal Government and striking resident doctors, the parley ended in early hours of Sunday without any breakthrough.
This is because the leadership of the striking National Association of Resident Doctors refused to sign the new Memorandum of Action brokered by its parent body, the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA.
NMA’s intervention was to end the resumed strike of the resident doctors which enters the twenty-second day this Sunday.
NARD President, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, who declined his assent owing to an undisclosed controversial clause insists the leadership has to get the nod of members before it could append it’s signature to the document.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige on his part said all other unions in the negotiation including the NMA and the Medical and Dental Consultants of Nigeria have signed the new agreement.
Ngige disclosed that the meeting did not discuss the issue of ‘No Work No Pay’ but that all parties at the meeting agreed to an out of court settlement.
Earlier at the opening of the meeting the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige said they had reached agreements the previous night on all the 12 disputed issues, adding that implementation would start from the next working day, which is Monday.
Regarding the issue of non-payment of some house officers, the Minister said NARD is expected to submit the list of the affected 114 officers for further verification and when confirmed that they are genuine, and their IPPIS particulars and BVN are in order, they would be paid in September with the outstanding arrears.
He said an agreement was reached on the Residency Training Fund outstanding for 2020 and 2021, after the Budget Office had explained that N617, 429, 121 was the outstanding to be paid in the 2020.
Ngige added that the meeting agreed that by next Friday, August 27, residents in institutions would have started getting their money, with each receiving about N542, 000.
The minister noted that the issue of consequential adjustment on National Minimum wage cuts across the health and educational sectors, which were both affected by the projection of N160B done in 2019, but which fell short of the people that were to benefit from it.
Ngige said the meeting equally noted that the non-payment of skipping allowance cuts across the entire health sector and therefore agreed that it was going to be handled holistically, while awaiting the court judgment on the matter.
He said the NMA has been directed to submit a written position on the controversial withdrawing of NYSC doctors and house officers from the scheme of service to point out the anomaly in the circular, for onward transmission to Head of Service of the Federation, who will look at the inputs given by NMA to the circular and process it to either the Council of Establishment or handle it administratively, if the issues are not such of fundamental nature to further clarify it, adding that a two-month timeline has been set for this.
On hazard allowance for doctors in government hospitals that did not benefit from that 2020 payment, the Minister said that is another issue and added that the Federal Ministry of Health has compiled a list to be forwarded back again to the Federal Ministry of Finance. For doctors in University Clinics and the rest of them, while others should route their own through the Federal Ministry of Education, their parent Ministry and Employer.
Editor: Ameachi Anakwe