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Nigerian govt directs doctors to resume work, says states responsible for most demands

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The Federal Government has directed striking resident doctors to resume work, saying that most of their grievances are state affairs.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, on Thursday, told journalists in Abuja that seven of the 12 matters that were raised by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), were the responsibility of state governments.

According to him, the resident doctors should resume work on Friday, August 6, and take up the issues with the state governments rather than embarking on a nationwide strike.

He noted that the Federal Government has started addressing the five issues that concern it.

Ripples Nigeria reported that resident doctors in Nigeria commenced a nationwide strike on Monday, for several reasons including delays in the payment of their salaries and allowances.

However, the strike coincided with a spike in the COVID-19 cases in the country, leaving concerns of serious consequences for the battle against the third wave of the pandemic.

READ ALSO: National Assembly urges resident doctors to suspend strike

Ehanire maintained that the industrial action was crippling the government’s efforts in tackling the resurgence of the pandemic, noting that the Nigerian Constitution clearly spelt out the responsibilities of all the tiers of government.

“Resident doctors cannot hold the Federal Government to ransom on issues related to state governments,” he said.

He noted that resident doctors employed by the Federal Government had no basis for joining the strike in the first case, saying they were not being owed.

The resident doctors had gone on strike earlier this year and suspended it after 10 days on April 10.

Issues raised by the medical practitioners included the immediate payment of all salaries owed to all house officers, including March salaries (regardless of quota system) before the end of business on March 31.

They are also asking for an upward review of the hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance, especially in state-owned-tertiary institutions.

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