Doctors begin nationwide strike

• FG insists they return to work.

National Association of Residents Doctors (NARD), on Monday commenced a nationwide strike following the Federal Government’s failure to meet its demands.

But the Federal Government insists they should return to work because it had met six of their eight demands.

Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige, in a statement by the Deputy Director of Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Health, implored the NARD members to resolve the outstanding issues with the Federal Government through dialogue.

He explained that in spite of the lean resources available due to the COVID-19 effects on crude oil, the government had addressed most of their demands, including Special Hazard and Inducement Allowances, and Group Life Insurance.

He said: “There is a pending case in the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), instituted by two civil society groups against NARD, the Minister of Health, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as well as the Minister of Labour and Employment.”

The doctors first embarked on an indefinite strike on the June 15, but suspended it June 22 due to the intervention of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

They gave the government a four-week window to meet their demands on or before August 17.

But yesterday, they decided to resume the strike, having reached the conclusion that government had failed to fulfill its promises.

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