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Nigerian govt gives condition to withdraw court case against striking doctors

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The Federal Government says the only condition to withdraw a court case instituted against striking members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) is for them to go back to work immediately.

This condition was given by Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige on Sunday in Abuja, while briefong newsmen on the outcome of a meeting he had with President Muhammadu Buhari over the lingering strike.

“I briefed Mr President and we have agreed that they should come back to work and if they come back to work, we can take other things from there; we’ll drop the case in court and then they will come back and get things done.

“The Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, in conjunction with the Office of the Head of Service, had a meeting and they are jointly going to do a circular that will be issued for salaries, incomes and wages to reiterate that house officers and youth corps doctors are still on the CONMES scales one and two, respectively. So, I think we are doing the implementation.

“Also, from the monitoring meeting we held this morning, the Ministry of Health has got the list of doctors, who supposedly are to benefit from the Medical Residency Training Fund.

“Total submission of about 8,000 names was obtained and the Ministry of Health is scrutinising them.

“We have done the first round of scrutiny and they will now compare what they have with the Postgraduate Medical College’s list and the chief medical directors, who submitted the names.

Read also: Nigerian govt goes tough on striking doctors, to implement ‘no work, no pay’ policy

“So, this is it and that is the only thing holding back the Residency Fund payment, because it is there already incurred expenditure has been done by the Finance Minister and it’s in the Accountant-General’s office.

“So, once they verify the authenticity of those they are submitting, the accountant-general will pay.

“Some are refunding, but there is no full reconciliation of the account. That account has to be reconciled to enable the accountants to pay the next round of fund for 2021.

“That’s what I briefed Mr President about and we also discussed some policies, which are not for public consumption now. We take it in strides as the days come by; we also discussed politics and the state of our party,” the minister said.

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