Following the expiration of a 14 days ultimatum issued on the 30th of May, 2020, and after several hours of deliberations, the National Executive Council (NEC), and the National Association of Residents Doctors (NARD) of Nigeria has, today, Monday, activated a nationwide indefinite strike.
Announcing this in a press briefing today in Abuja, the President of NARD, Dr. Aliyu Sokomba, stated that the decision, coming at this time, is due to the failure of the federal government heed to their demands as promised.
He however added that, as a demonstration of goodwill to Nigerians, and in appreciation of the intervention of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, NEC has resolved to exempt doctors managing COVID-19 victims in all isolation and treatment centers in the country from the industrial action for the next two weeks.
According to Sokomba, the level of inadequacies observed in the availability of personnel protective equipment for healthcare workers is alarming. He pointed out attendant increase in infection rates, the unnecessary suffering of patients and their relatives, financial hardship, obsolete equipment, machines and technology, among many other concerns.
“NEC observed the insincerity of the Appointees of Executive Arm of Government in paying the outstanding salary shortfall of 2014, 2015, 2016 under the guise of the so called appeal of the National Industrial Court decision.
“NEC observed non-payment of the COVID-19 hazard inducement allowance to all health workers across the country in spite of repeated promises by the government.”