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Nigerian govt, striking resident doctors reach new agreements

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has agreed to pay N4.8 billion Residency Training Fund to the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) in the next seven days.

The government on Saturday also agreed to clear the arrears of the consequential adjustment of the National Minimum Wage from April.

Also, the government said it has forwarded a list from 38 hospitals to the Budget office for inclusion in the Service Wide Vote, through the Federal Ministry of Health.

The development was disclosed in a statement on Saturday issued by the Deputy Director of Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan.

According to the statement, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said the government resumed discussion with the striking doctors at the instruction of President Buhari.

Ngige explained that President Buhari directed him to side-step every technicality and re-commence conciliation, especially in the background of the alternative dispute resolution window, provided by the National Industrial Court, where the matter was referred to under the instrument of article 17 of the Trade Disputes Act.

READ ALSO: Court rejects move to stop resident doctors’ strike

“The National Industrial Court in its wisdom advised that NARD should keep talking with its employers. So we are tapping into this widow of an alternative dispute resolution to ameliorate this situation that is already bad,” he added.

The agreement may have laid the foundation for the peaceful resolution of the ongoing strike by NARD which commenced on August 1, 2021.

It was expected that a Memorandum of Action would be signed by all the parties involved in the discussion today (Saturday).

The agreement followed the intervention of the leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association led by Prof Innocent Uja.

At the renewed meeting on Friday, all the consolidated 12-point demand by NARD, the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) and other affiliates of NMA were reportedly resolved.

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