Doctors’ Strike: FG Dares NMA, Rejects 21-Day Ultimatum

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The Ministry of Labour and Employment has stated the 21-day ultimatum given to the Federal Government by the Nigeria Medical Association is in direct collision with the Memorandum of Understanding signed on August 21, 2021.

An announcement by the spokesman of the ministry, Charles Akpan, stated the FG “is religiously implementing its own side of the agreement, with effective monitoring by the office of the Minister of Labour and Employment,” including that the NMA was but to “move a needle” on the roles assigned to it within the settlement.

The NMA had threatened to affix the continued strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors if the federal government didn’t resolve all the problems contained within the varied agreements signed with its affiliate unions.

But reacting to the menace in an announcement titled, ‘Labour ministry to NMA: Your 21-day ultimatum in collision with our MoU,’ the federal government argued that the NMA’s place was at variance with the timeline said within the Memorandum of Agreement.

It stated, “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 fee of the excellent hazard allowance from the 2020 Medical Residency Training Fund states that the fund shall be paid after verification and reconciliation of figures from the BOF. Till now, Both NARD/ Postgraduate Medical College are but to submit the validated utility for the eligible docs missed out in 2020 to allow this fee.

“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.”

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Akpan additional submitted that the technical committee arrange in article Vii to sort out the backlog of arrears on Government Integrated Financial Management Information System was given 4 weeks efficient Monday, August 31, 2021, to spherical off its assignments, querying if this wasn’t a collision with the 21-day ultimatum.

He added, “Also, article X of the MoU additionally states that the Nigerian Medical Association ought to facilitate the withdrawal of fits by Medical and Dental Doctors in Academics in opposition to the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission and the Accountant- General of the Federation to make sure the amicable decision of the problems. The NMA is but to do that, but issuing a recent 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.”

The authorities admonished the NMA to play its position “as the guardian of its affiliate associations instead of descending into the arena for needless fear of impeachment.”

“It has by the communique issued in Benin abdicated the main role assigned to it in the August 21 MoU,” the federal government alleged.

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