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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Resident doctors suspend warning strike after agreement with Nigerian government

The leadership of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has ordered its members to return to work today, Monday, May 22, 2023.

President of the association, Dr. Emeka Orji, made this known, saying the association suspended the action for two weeks after reaching some agreement with the government on Friday.

He, however, stated that the doctors will meet again on the second day of June this year to review progress made with the agreement signed after which the association will decide on their next line of action.

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Recall that the doctors commenced a five-day warning strike in the early hours of Wednesday following the failure of the Nigerian government to meet its demands.

The doctors, among other grievances, are demanding the immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF), tangible steps on the “upward review” of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and payment of all salary arrears owed its members since 2015.


Other demands are the immediate payment of the 2023 Medical Residency Training Fund in line with the agreements reached at the stakeholders’ meeting convened by the Federal Ministry of Health on February 15, 2023; the immediate increment in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure to the tune of 200 per cent of the gross salary of Doctors in addition to the allowances included in the letter written to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire on July 7, 2022, for the review of CONMESS; among others.

However, the President of the association, Dr Emeka Orji, in a press statement, said the strike had been suspended with effect from 8am on Monday.

He said the association would review the progress regarding its demands during its ordinary general meeting in Lagos.

Orji said, “The strike has been suspended and work resumes at 8am tomorrow (Monday). The ultimatum extended till June 2, 2023, for reassessment.”

Corroborating Orji’s stance, the Publicity, and Social Secretary of the association, Dr Umar Usman, also said, “Before we embarked on the strike, we called a National Executive Council meeting and the council gave us the backing and we promised that it would be a five-day warning strike and at the end of it, we will call them to the progress made.

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“So, we will resume tomorrow as agreed. Since we have signed a MoU with the government, the agreement has a timeline and it was agreed that issues will be addressed with timelines. We will review the commitments made and to know the progress about the issues raised.”

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