By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has said that all stakeholders in the health sector of the economy must work together to avert another strike of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
To this end, the encouraged the government to fulfil its promise to the association.
The Speaker made the call in a closed-door meeting he had with representatives of the Ministries of Finance, Labour and Health, as well as the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris and the Director-General of the Budget Office, Ben Akabueze in Abuja yesterday.
In attendance were also the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Ministry of Finance, Shehu Aliyu; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour, Dr Yerima Tarfa; and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Abdulazeez Abdullahi.
It will be recalled that the doctors who were demanding the payment of all salaries arrears, review of the current hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries for all health workers, and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 allowance especially in state-owned tertiary Institutions amongst others proceeded on an indefinite strike on April 1, 2021.
They however suspended the industrial action on April 10 for 4 weeks after an agreement was reached between them and the government.
Speaking before the closed-door session began, Gbajabiamila said “I saw the resident doctors several times and in my last meeting, I did say to them that we would play whatever role we can play to make sure that whatever was reached materializes. So, that is what this is about. There are some outstanding issues that are yet to be concluded and I want to know what we can do on our side to assist, accelerate and make sure these things are done.
“As you are aware they called off the strike only temporarily and like I said we don’t want to be caught off guard. My concern and the concern of everybody is the consequences if we do not meet our side of the agreement. So we want to avert such a situation and it can be averted if we come together and look for ways and means.”
Vanguard News Nigeria