To prevent the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) from carrying out their planned industrial action, Tajudeen Abbas, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, is scheduled to meet with President Bola Tinubu. On Monday, Abbas held a meeting with the national leadership of NARD in Abuja, during which he announced the establishment of an ad hoc committee to engage with all relevant stakeholders and address the issues at hand.
The Speaker earnestly appealed to the resident doctors to grant the house leadership a two-week window to explore and implement solutions to the concerns raised by the doctors. The meeting took place predominantly in private.
NARD had previously issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government, demanding the fulfillment of various demands. These demands include the recruitment of hospital clinical staff, immediate infrastructural development in healthcare facilities, allocation of at least 15 percent of budgetary provisions to health, and the prompt disbursement of the 2023 medical residency training fund, among other things.
The resident doctors expressed their intention to go on strike after evaluating the level of implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the government on May 19, 2023, following a previous five-day warning strike that took place on May 17, 2023.
In a joint communique co-signed by NARD President Orji Innocent, Secretary General Chikezie Kelechi, and Publicity and Social Secretary Umar Musa, the doctors called on the government to expedite the payment of all outstanding arrears owed to its members. This includes the hazard allowance, the skipping arrears from 2014 to 2016, and the arrears of consequential adjustment of the minimum wage. The doctors emphasized that there are no justifiable reasons for the government to delay these owed arrears and allowances.