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Resident doctors: FG has not invited us for talks since we went on strike

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) says it is yet to be invited by the labour ministry for dialogue despite downing their tools on April 1.

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The doctors had embarked on an indefinite strike, owing to the federal government’s failure to pay their owed allowances and salaries.

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Chris Ngige, minister of labour, had threatened to invoke “weapons in the labour laws” on the resident doctors if they refuse to suspend the strike.

Speaking during a Channels Television’s programme on Tuesday, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, the association’s president, said the government has only met one out of its 13 demands.

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He said: “As it stands, as of this morning, we have not had any invite from the ministry of labour and the strike still continues.

“As you can see, when we signed the MoA thinking that we are going back the NEC members to consider the situation on ground. As it stands, the health officers are still not been paid even when we were told they will be paid from the next day.”

Okhuaihesuyi said the health officers who were paid only received half salaries, adding that “nothing else has been done”.

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“We call on Nigerians to also please help us talk to government because it seems that they (government) don’t really put health of the nation as a priority,” he said.

He noted that the union has been invited to a meeting with Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house of representatives.

Okhuaihesuyi said the union would only suspend the strike if the government meets its demands.

“I know as a leader of the national association of residents doctors, a mandate has been given to me to continue the strike until the 13 demands are met. So the strike continues as it stands,” he said.

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