Dr Dare Ishaya, President of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has hinted that his colleagues may embark on strike if the federal government fails to yield to its demands after the two-week ultimatum.
This is coming just as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) extended its five months strike by another four weeks.
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Ishaya gave the hint when he appeared on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Monday.
NARD had on Saturday gave a two-week ultimatum to the federal government to implement the new national minimum wage, hazard allowance, among others.
The ultimatum was issued in a communiqué issued at the end of the July National Executive Council meeting and Scientific Conference of the association.
“The NEC observed with dismay, the unnecessary delay in the implementation and payment of the new Hazard Allowance for over seven (7) months since its approval on 22nd December 2021 in a circular with reference No. SWC/S/04/S.218/11/406.
“The NEC observed that the skipping arrears covering 2014, 2015 and 2016 have remained unpaid despite several negotiations with the Federal Government over the matter,” the communiqué reads.
While speaking on the programme, Ishaya said the body would have gone on strike immediately, adding that it wanted to give the government the time to meet the needs of its members before taking the next action.
He said, “Last year, following our strike, we had a lot of engagements with the government regarding the hazard allowance which was one of our cardinal demands that led to the last year’s strike.
“After several interfaces with the government, eventually the government unilaterally came up with hazard allowance that was apportioned to the various cadre of healthcare workers.
“It was resolved that we should accept it the way it was but to our dismay, the National Executive Council reviewed the situation and it was discovered that seven months later, this new hazard allowance has not been implemented.”
While giving an indication of an imminent strike, he said: “At the end of the two-week ultimatum, we are going to review the position.
“We could come up with a communiqué praising the efforts of the government towards resolving these issues. Strike is usually the last thing the resident doctors always contemplate. Recall our strike was only suspended. If we were strike mongers, we would have, arising from that NEC meeting, proceed on indefinite strike.”