The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has given the Federal Government 72 hours to pay salary arrears of its members.
The association gave the ultimatum in a communique issue at the end of its Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Scientific Conference, held on Saturday at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital (ATBUTH), Bauchi State.
After critical appraisal of the performances of both Federal and State Governmennts, the doctors unanimously resolved by vote to continue the total and indefinite strike action, until their minimum demands were met.
They asked the Federal Government to ensure the payment of the Medical Residency Training within 72 hours, in order to restore normalcy to the health sector.
The doctors also demanded the payment of the arrears of salaries of their colleagues on the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) platform within 72 hours while the process of migrating to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system (IPPIS) continues.
Other demands by the union included the withdrawal of the court case against NARD and payment of withheld August and September salaries.
“The Federal Government should prevail on various state governments to urgently pay arrears of salaries and allowances owed our members in the state tertiary health institutions as stated above,” a communique issued at the end of the meeting read.
“The AGM also urges the Federal Government to consider the universal implementation of the MRTA in all training institutions in the country including those in the states. The AGM reiterated unequivocally, especially to the members of the public, that we are committed to the smooth running of the health sector, but we can only do so when our welfare is given the desired attention.
“We, therefore, call on all well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the government to set aside all technicalities as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari and resolve the aforementioned demands in the interest of the masses and our members who are currently suffering because of the ongoing strike action,” the community added.
At the end of the AGM, attended by 76 chapters of the union across the country, Dare Ishaya was inaugurated as the new NARD President.
Similarly, Dr Edoga Chima and Dr Buba Babangida emerged as the first and second Vice Presidents respectively, while Dr Suleiman Abiodun Isma’il was sworn in as the Secretary-General.
NARD had rejected a recent ruling of the national industrial court directing the association to suspend its strike with immediate effect.
All efforts by the Federal Government and the National Assembly to get the resident doctors to call off the strike have proved abortive.