Strike looms as resident doctors give FG two-week ultimatum on welfare claims

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to implement the agreement reached on the well-being of its members.

The association gave the ultimatum after its national executive council meeting on Saturday in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa state.

The association said failure to meet its requirements on time could lead to “industrial disharmony”.

The statement was signed by Dare Ishaya, President of NARD; Suleiman Abiodun, the general secretary, and Alfa Yusuf, publicity and social affairs secretary.

“The NEC has observed with dismay the unnecessary delay in the implementation and payment of the new risk allowance for more than seven (7) months since its approval on December 22, 2021 in a circular bearing the reference SWC/S/04 /S.218/11/406,” the statement read.

“The NEC observed that the arrears for 2014, 2015 and 2016 remained unpaid despite several negotiations with the Federal Government on this matter.”

The association alleged that years after a new minimum wage was put in place, some of its members have still not benefited from the adjustment.

NARD also expressed dissatisfaction with the condition of its members in Imo, Ondo, Ekiti and Gombe states who “owe 10, 5, 3 and 2 months respectively”.

The association urged the federal government to expedite payment of the new Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF).

“The NEC demands the immediate implementation and payment of the new risk allowance and arrears as contained in the National Wages, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) circular dated December 22, 2021 with number reference SWC/S/04/S.218/11/406 within two (2) weeks,” the statement read.

“The NEC is demanding the immediate payment of the consequential minimum wage adjustment to our members who have been deprived of this benefit since it was introduced several years ago.

“The NEC demands an immediate review of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and other related allowances given the current economic situation in the country, and also in accordance with the agreed terms of the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that it will be reviewed regularly.

“The NEC urges the federal government and all state governments to look into the issue of assaults on physicians and to thoroughly investigate ongoing cases and put in place measures to quell this threat in the egg in order to prevent future events, as these inhumane acts have affected our members. both physically and mentally.

“The NEC urges the federal government to take action to reduce the brain drain in the health sector and to find ways to remove all bureaucratic bottlenecks in the employment and replacement of medical residents leaving daily our institutions to seek greener pastures.”

The association said it would meet again in two weeks to review “progress so far and take further action where nationwide industrial harmony may not be guaranteed”.