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FG, doctors meet today as strike enters Day 8


Doctors’ strike not intended to hurt Nigerians, NARD reassures, Peter Tarfa, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe, Chris Ngige, Julian Ojebo

The Federal Government and the National Association of Resident Doctors will on Friday (today) hold a meeting to address the ongoing strike embarked upon by the doctors.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment spokesman, Charles Akpan, disclosed this in an invite to journalists on Thursday.

He said the parley which would hold at the ministry, will be chaired by the Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, and attended by resident doctors and representatives of the Federal Government.

The agreement between the FG and doctors broke down after the medical workers expressed lack of confidence in the Memorandum of Action signed with the government representatives.

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The NARD had after its Executive Council meeting accused the government of insincerity and dismissed the MOA as a plot by the government to hoodwink the union.

But Ngige said the Federal Government had not only substantially met the seven-point demand by NARD, “it has also demonstrated transparency in their implementation.’’

He said the House Officers have started receiving their payments in the federal government teaching hospitals and federal medical centres across the federation.

According to him, by the close of work on Thursday, all would have been paid as the officers at the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation worked even during the Easter public holidays to effect the payment.

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Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Health said on Thursday expressed surprise that the National Association of Resident Doctors embarked on strike despite the fact that their demands had been met by the Federal Government.

Chairman of the Senate panel, Yahaya Oloriegbe, spoke during a public hearing on a bill seeking to establish a Federal Medical Centre in Mubi, Adamawa State.

He added that the Presidency should have consulted the National Assembly before converting the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to the Presidential Steering Committee.

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Oloriegbe said, “I want to put on record that at National Assembly we made efforts to avert the doctors going on strike.

“We had a marathon meeting on March 21 and we agreed on all the issues that were raised by the resident doctors.

“So we are surprised that the Resident Doctors went on strike. However, we are not reneging.”

The Permanent Secretary, Abdulaziz Abdullahi, who represented the Minister of Health, promised that the ministry would take cognizance of the comments raised by the panel.