12 September 2017

Nigeria: Resident Doctors - Over 90 Percent of Members Yet to Paid Outstanding Arrears

Abuja — The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has said the ongoing industrial action is yet to be called off because over 90 per cent of their members are yet to receive their arrears, which is at the core of the agreement reached with the federal government.

To this end, NARD leadership would meet today to review the response of the federal government to its demands.

The member of the National Executive Council of NARD, Dr. Arikawe Adeolu, while speaking with journalists yesterday in Abuja, said the meeting would allow the leadership to appraise the event since its meeting with government.

Adeolu, who is also the General Secretary of NARD, Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Jabi, Abuja, stressed that the outcome of the appraisal would determine whether the nationwide indefinite strike would be called off or not.

He said: "The appraisal is necessary as more than 90 per cent of members were yet to receive their arrears as at 3p.m of September 11."

The federal government had in a meeting with the leadership of NARD on September 6, agreed to pay the arrears of salaries latest by September 8, 2017.

The doctors who commenced industrial action on September4, are protesting the sack of some of their colleagues, non-payment of "skipping" entitlement, non-inclusion in the IPPIS platform and non-payment of their salary arrears, among others.

On the agreement, Adeolu expressed optimism that the arrears would be paid as the federal government claims it had disbursed the arrears to the hospitals accordingly.

He said: "We were supposed to hold a meeting on September 8 but it didn't hold because the essence of the meeting was defeated.

"We thought that government would have paid by then but we got nothing so the meeting has been postponed to September 12; it will be a closed door meeting to carry out an appraisal of events so far."

"The federal government claims that money has been paid to the hospitals so we need to confirm from members across the country is they have received their salary arrears. Money is not usually paid directly to doctors; it is sent to the hospitals so what we are trying to do now is to verify whether the money has come into the hospitals for onward payment.

"Today and tomorrow is enough time for this money to be disbursed to doctors if it really has been paid. By tomorrow we should have a clear view of whether this money has been paid or not," he added.

Adeolu remarked that some of the agreements reached with the federal government could not be fulfilled immediately except the payment of salary arrears to members.

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