The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended its indefinite strike which commenced at midnight of Monday, June 15.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the doctors will return to work on Monday, June 22, 2020 by 8am prompt.
President of the union, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, announced this in a news conference on Sunday, following a meeting between the association and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) in Abuja.
Sakomba noted that the decision to suspend the strike was taken in order to give the Federal and State Governments time to fulfil the outstanding demands.
“The national officers shall continue negotiations with stakeholders and progress made shall be reviewed in four weeks during the next National Executive Council meeting in July 2020.
“The decision to suspend the strike was taken in order to give the Federal and State Governments time to fulfil the outstanding demands following an appeal by the Speaker of House of Representative, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairman Nigeria Governors Forum and other stakeholder,” Sakomba said.
He announced that through the intervention of Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, some of their demands had been met, including the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in some hospitals, and the inclusion of the Medical Residency Training fund in the revised 2020 budget.
The association will, over the next four weeks, await the fulfilment of the promises made by the Governors to extend the implementation to the various states.
“On the salary shortfall for 2014-2016, The Secretary to the Government of the Federation has promised to intervene.
“Government has shown a commitment to secure group life insurance for health workers. The disengaged resident doctors at Jos University Teaching Hospital have been reinstated, the Chief Medical Director has been directed to pay their withheld salaries and comply with the provisions of the Medical Residency,” he added.
He further stated that the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, Gov. Kayode Fayemi and the Director-General of the State Tertiary Health Institutions (STHIs), Mr Asishana Okauru, had promised to discuss with the Governors of Kogi, Gombe, Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Enugu, Anambra, Abia, and Imo for immediate pay parity with the corrected CONMESS of 2019 and the salary shortfalls.
“NARD also met with Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo state who also gave his words to favourably look into all challenges of our members in LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso with a view to abiding by the international standard,” he said.
The resident doctors had declared an indefinite strike starting on Monday June 15, following the expiration of a 14-day ultimatum given to the Federal Government to address several issues and demands.
Financial Autonomy: Governors, State Speakers reach agreement
The Governor also said that the final document of the agreement should be ready for implementation by May 2021.
The Governors’ Forum, Conference of Speakers of State Legislature and other governance stakeholders announced that they reached a resolution over the implementation of financial autonomy for State Legislature and Judiciary.
This was disclosed by the Ekiti State Governor and Chairman Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Kayode Fayemi, after the meeting, which was held in Abuja on Monday, and presided by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
What the Governor said
“We are here for legislative and judicial autonomy and Governors; Speakers of State Assemblies and the Judges of the States are on the same page as far as this issue is concerned,” he said.
We just emerged from a meeting with the Solicitor General of the Federation, the representatives of the judiciary and those of the Conference of Speakers and we are all in force; an agreement has been reached.
The issue is about implementation. There has been no objection from governors on judicial and legislative autonomy.
As a matter of fact, it would not have passed if governors were not in support in the first instance. So, that issue has been fully and holistically addressed,” Fayemi said.
The Governor also said that the final document of the agreement should be ready for implementation by May 2021 and urged striking workers to return to offices “because as far as this has gone, we have met with all the parties concerned and the President, through his Chief of Staff, has been monitoring what has been happening.”
What you should know
Nairametrics reported earlier this month that members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) went on strike with the closure of Federal High Courts in different states across the nation. The union said the purpose of the strike was to draw attention to the financial autonomy of Nigeria’s Judiciary.
Finance Minister tasks FG and state governments to control spending
The Minister also denied claims that the FG printed N60 billion as top-up for March FAAC numbers.
The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, has called on Governments on all levels in Nigeria to control spending amid decreasing revenues and urged for prudent government spending. The Minister also denied claims that the Federal Government printed N60 billion as top-up for March FAAC numbers.
The Minister disclosed this in an interview on Monday and warned that the FG was not generating enough revenue to align with its spending habit.
Zainab Ahmed added that the FG would maintain its stance from January 2021 to end total fuel subsidies in Nigeria, and confirmed talks with organised labour on subsidy removal.
“As a nation, the Federal, State and Local governments must review expenditure patterns. We are spending too much and we are not generating enough,” she said.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported last month that the Debt Management Office had announced that Nigeria’s public debt at end of 2020 was N32.915 trillion. The DMO said the sum of the debt included the Debt Stock of the Federal and State Governments, as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
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