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Abbas sets up Reps committee over resident doctors’ planned strike

THE Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, is to meet with President Bola Tinubu in a move to avert the planned industrial action by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

Abbas, who met with the national leadership of NARD in Abuja today, also announced the setup of an ad hoc committee to meet with all the stakeholders and address the matter.

The Speaker further appealed to the resident doctors to give the house leadership a two-week period to find solutions to the issues raised.

The meeting was held largely behind closed doors.

NARD, on July 5, issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government for the implementation of all its demands.

The doctors are asking for the recruitment of clinical staff in hospitals, immediate infrastructural development in hospitals, and an allocation of at least 15 percent of budgetary provisions to health, as well as immediate payment of the 2023 medical residency training fund, among other demands.

The resident doctors issued the warning of industrial action after appraising the level of implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the government on May 19, 2023, following a five-day warning strike embarked upon by the Association on May 17, 2023.

The communique, co-signed by NARD President Orji Innocent, Secretary General Chikezie Kelechi, and Publicity and Social Secretary Umar Musa, called on the government to pay all outstanding arrears owed its members without further delay.

The payments were said to include the hazard allowance and the skipping arrears from 2014 to 2016, and the arrears of consequential adjustment of minimum wage.
The doctors said there is no justifiable reason for the government to keep owing their arrears and allowances.

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