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Strike: Again, Abbas to meet with resident doctors Thursday

Strike: Again, Abbas to meet with resident doctors Thursday

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, will on Thursday interface again with the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) over the association’s planned industrial action.

The Majority Leader of the House, Julius Ihonvbere, announced this during plenary on Wednesday.

A member of the House, Idem Uyime (PDP, Akwa-Ibom), had tried to move a motion for the House to intervene to prevent the strike.

However, former Deputy Speaker of the House Idris Wase (APC, Plateau) raised a point of order that the speaker is already on the matter.

Mr Abbas met with the doctors on Monday and appealed for time. However, despite the appeal, the doctors announced plans to commence an indefinite strike today (Wednesday).

Mr Ihonvbere informed the House that Mr Abbas had already discussed the issues raised by the resident doctors with President Bola Tinubu and set up an ad hoc committee to address the issues raised at the meeting.

“I want to inform (the House and the public) that Mr Speaker has since met with Mr President, and significant progress in terms of addressing the needs of the doctors that are now on strike has been made. Second, we have scheduled a meeting for tomorrow (Thursday) with all the stakeholders, including members of the NARD. So, discussions are on.

“(Former Chairman of the House Committee on Healthcare Services) Dr Tanko Sununu is here, and he has been in touch with the NARD President, and they are going to be at this meeting tomorrow along with other stakeholders, including the Ministry of Health, the Accountant-General of the Federation; Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning; even the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.”

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The Deputy Speaker, Ben Kalu, who presided over the session, noted that the motion of urgent public importance showed that “we are sensitive to the needs of Nigerians,” adding that, “We are not asleep where Nigerians are panicking on issues bothering on their health.”

Stepping down the motion, Mr Idem appealed to the doctors to have sufficient time.

“Let me say this to the medical officers who are striking: The fact that the highest level of the parliament has started engaging with you shows how important your demands are. It shows how seriously we have taken your issues. I want to urge you to exercise more patience,” he said.

READ ALSO: Democracy, only way to nation building  Speaker Tajudeen Abbas

The doctors had on 17 May embarked on a five-day warning strike following the failure of the Nigerian government to meet its demands.

In January, the association issued an ultimatum to the government to resolve issues affecting its members, including the immediate implementation and payment of the new hazard allowance and arrears.

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