The Federal Government will implement the ‘no work, no pay on the striking National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) if they refuse to resume work.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, made these remarks on Friday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
According to Ngige, the Federal Government is empowered by labour law to stop paying salaries of the striking workers.
He added, if the striking workers refuse to resume, “I will invoke them,” Ngige said.
The Minister mentioned, “their employers have a role also to keep their business afloat, to keep patients alive. They can employ local doctors. We won’t get there but if we are going to get there, we will use that stick.”
Speaking further, the Minister also noted that the current hazard allowance of ₦5,000 for doctors was fixed in 1992, noting that it was fair and just.
The Minister explained that the Federal Government would review the amount in five weeks’ time, although he didn’t disclose the proposed figure.
It is the last NMA President Faduyile that called my attention that the hazard (allowance) was ₦5,000. I raised it with the Finance Minister and the Vice President in the Economic Sustainability Meeting. In fact, to use the words of the Vice President, he said it is criminal, that it shouldn’t happen.
Ngige added that, “the new hazard allowance will be done in the next five weeks. It is in the Memorandum of Action that we signed. Immediately after the Easter break, I will convene a meeting to look at it holistically.”
The resident doctors had on Thursday embarked on an indefinite strike to protest alleged failure by the Federal Government to fulfil its obligations to them.
They had earlier met with the Federal Government’s team on Wednesday over their grievances, rejected the proposals put forward by the government on how to make up for the shortcomings in the implementation of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between both parties.