3 January 2014

Nigerian Government Would Do Everything Possible to Avert Looming Doctors' Strike - Governor Uduaghan

Nigeria cannot afford another strike and government is willing to do all possible to avert the impending January 6 strike by doctors, the Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, said on Thursday.

Mr. Uduaghan, who is the Chairman of the Presidential Committee mediating between the Federal Government and the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, stated this after leading other top government officials to meet President Goodluck Jonathan for several hours at the presidential Villa.

The Delta State Governor, who is a medical doctor, told journalists that "Nigeria cannot afford another Doctors' strike;" adding that "the Committee was holding a crucial meeting on the same day with NMA officials to avert the strike."

He also added that the President has "consented to some things"

The NMA had on December 22 directed its members to commence on a nationwide strike on January 6 if the government did not satisfactorily resolve their grievances. The others had held a week warning strike just before the yuletide season.

The action is to protest against the doctors' poor working conditions, inadequate funding, and poor infrastructure in the nation's health sector.

Mr. Uduaghan said his committee would meet with the doctors as Mr. Jonathan had consented to some of their demands.

"Our determination is to ensure that strike of January 6 is averted. Of course we cannot afford another strike in the medical sector. One minute of strike in the health sector by whatever body can be very disastrous," he said.

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