The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has called on the members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to call of their nationwide strike in the interest of the Nation.
The Speaker who had a meeting last Tuesday with the leadership of the resident doctors and the executive arm led by the Health Minister and the Minister of State in the Federal Ministry of Health, appealed to the doctors to extend the strike ultimatum, while the government is working towards meeting their demands.
Gbajabiamila also assured NARD that their training would be captured in the 2021 budget whether or not it is included by the Executive in the ministry’s budget.
But the doctors after six hours of failed negotiations and expiration of a 14-day ultimatum commenced an indefinite nationwide strike on Monday.
The Speaker in a press statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Lanre Lasisi called on the Resident Doctors to consider the plight of Nigerians and call off their strike.
The statement reads: ”With all the positive steps taken in a bid to fulfill all promises, I had appealed to NARD to tarry a while as the government works assiduously to meet their entitlements since the revised 2020 budget was passed only last week and all processes for presidential assent and implementation are yet to kick off in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies including Health.
”In keeping to my promise on residency funding, I raised the matter during consideration of the budget on last Wednesday and the sum of N4 billion was approved by the House from the Service Wide Votes for the commencement of funding of residency programme as provided for by the Medical Residency Training Act.
”The Senate concurred with that position on Thursday when it passed its version of the budget. The issue of a template for implementation was also raised by the doctors, and I directed that an emergency meeting with the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission be held on Monday, June 15. At the meeting, which held at the National Assembly, the Commission promised to produce the template in the next 48 hours. The leadership of NARD was also at the meeting.”