Doctors’ strike: Reps leadership to invite Finance Minister next week

 

The speaker of the house of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, says the leadership of the House will invite the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed next week over the industrial action by the Nigerian resident doctors.

Mr Gbajabiamila stated that the meeting would be over how to ensure the execution of the Memorandum of Action entered into between the government and members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

The Speaker, while meeting with the executive of the NARD led by the President, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi at the association’s secretariat in Abuja, assured that the House would ensure an amicable and acceptable resolution of the contentious hazard allowance issue as well as other contentious issues.

While commending the doctors for suspending the strike at the request of the House, the Speaker said, even the constitution talks about essential services, but that there’s nothing as essential a service than that which seeks to save and protect lives.

Saying that the House believes that “the labourer must earn his wages,” Gbajabiamila said “We’ll monitor issues being processed, the IPPIS, training fund, hazard allowances which the House championed at the peak of the Covid-19 crisis.

“All the issues will be addressed. We’re looking to come to a reasonable and acceptable hazard allowance as well as the training fund, which when the supplementary budget is introduced, we hope and expect to justify why this should be accommodated

On why the leadership of the House had to visit the NARD secretariat for the meeting, the Speaker said it was to appreciate the respect and understanding the association has shown for the Speaker and the House to suspend the strike to allow for the resolution of the issues.

Earlier, the president of the association, Okhuaihesuyi, who expressed appreciation for the visit, observed that this is the first time a member of the Federal Government will be coming to the secretariat.

  1. The president said the strike was called off on the heels of the intervention of the Speaker and the House.

While thanking the Speaker for all his previous interventions, he noted that the association has entered into a Memorandum of Action with the Executive and work has commenced on some of the issues.

IBRAHIM SHEHU

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