Resident Doctors Reject FG’s N25,000 Increment
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has restated its striking position as it insists that the federal government was yet to accept its demands, indicating that the nationwide strike would continue after the proposal of a N25,000 increment.
The NARD President, Dr Emeka Orji, during a press conference in Lagos State on Saturday, July 29, affirmed the development.
According to him, the action will go on “until reasonable progress is made by the government to address our demands as contained in the ultimatum issued to the Federal Government on the 15th of July, 2023”.
The NARD President stated that it was the appeal of the National Executive Committee (NEC) that the federal and state governments urgently resolve the demands “to forestall the further escalation of the ongoing industrial disharmony in the health sector nationwide”.
NARD represents around 15,000 resident doctors out of a total of more than 40,000 doctors in the country. But the union seems to be alone in the struggle as its parent body, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) is not on strike.
“We’re still engaging NMA, and we’ll continue to engage the Nigerian Medical Association,” Dr Oji said.
“We also call on our members in the states – that was part of our resolution – that members in the states should also engage their state officers committee of the Nigerian Medical Association because we believe that it would be difficult for NARD to do this in isolation.
“And so, we continue to engage NMA on these issues.”
The federal government, through the national salary and wages commission, said that it had approved the sum of N25,000 allowance for doctors, and in response, the association considered this “laughable”.
According to Dr Orji, “The Federal Government has approved the payment of an Accoutrement allowance of twenty-five naira (N25,000.00) per quarter to Medical and Dental Doctors in hospitals, medical centres, and clinics in the Federal Public Service. The allowance is to be paid from the overhead budget.
“The approval takes effect from June 1, 2023. All enquiries relating to this circular should be directed to the Commission.”
Reacting to the development in a telephone conversation with Vanguard newspapers, Dr Oji said, “the N25,000 allowance to doctors is laughable. The ongoing strike continues. We are currently in a meeting. NARD will issue a statement regarding the N25,000.00 allowance.”