Doctors’ Strike: FG Reacts As NMA Issues 21-Day Ultimatum

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The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has given the federal government 21 days to address all the agreements with the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and others.

However, the federal government while reacting, rejected the 21-day ultimatum.

The NMA gave the warning after its National Executive Council meeting of the association in Edo State to discuss the current impasse between the government and resident doctors.

In a statement by the NMA President, Prof Innocent Ujah, the group asked the government to fully resolve all the issues contained in the various agreements signed with its affiliate members.

Reacting to the ultimatum in a statement on Sunday by its spokesman, Charles Akpan, the Ministry of Labour and Employment berated the NMA for giving the government timeline to resolve all disputes with the doctors.

The ministry stated that the ultimatum is in direct collision with the Memorandum of Understanding signed on August 21, 2021.

It added that the federal government is religiously implementing its own side of the agreements, adding that the ministry is monitoring the implementation.

The government urged the NMA to play its role “as the guardian of its affiliate associations instead of descending into the arena for needless fear of impeachment.”

The statement reads, “First is that the NMA communique in Benin which issued a 21-day ultimatum is at variance with the timeline in article II, Vii, Vii and X of the MOA.

“Importantly, article II on payment of the outstanding hazard allowance from the 2020 Medical Residency Training Fund states that the fund will be paid after verification and reconciliation of figures from the BOF. Till now, Both NARD/ Postgraduate Medical College are yet to submit the validated application for the eligible doctors missed out in 2020 to enable this payment.

“Article Vii on withdrawal of the circular from the Office of the Head of Service removing House and NYSC Doctors from the scheme of service says ‘the NMA should submit her position immediately to the FMOH PS for onward transmission to the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation with a view to processing and issuance of clarification circular within two months.’ The NMA is yet to comply with this.”

He added, “Also, article X of the MoU also states that the Nigerian Medical Association should facilitate the withdrawal of suits by Medical and Dental Doctors in Academics against the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission and the Accountant- General of the Federation to ensure the amicable resolution of the issues. The NMA is yet to do this, yet issuing a fresh ultimatum.

“It is, therefore, clear that the 21-day ultimatum will neither assist the NMA discharge the role assigned to it in the MoU nor facilitate the faithful implementation of the timeline which the federal government has given every attention.”

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