The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has rejected the new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) presented by the Federal Government to end its ongoing strike.
On August 1, resident doctors embarked on a nationwide strike over the alleged failure of the Federal Government to implement an agreement on salaries and allowances.
Minister of Labour and Employemnt, Chris Ngige, had dragged the association before the National Industrial Court over the strike.
The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), on Friday, led the resident doctors to a meeting summoned at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve the disagreement thatled to the strike.
But speaking with journalists on Sunday after the closed-door meeting with representatives of the Federal Government, in Abuja, NARD National President, Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, said he could not sign the MoU as a result of an undisclosed clause.
“We rejected the MoU; we didn’t sign it because we feel we are being punished for the failures of those in government,” he said.
Uyilawa said the nationwide strike would continue, adding that the association would proceed with the court case.
He stated that the NARD leadership has to present the new MoU to its members before he could sign the document.
On his part, Ngige said that all other unions in the negotiation including the NMA and the Medical and Dental Consultants of Nigeria have signed the new agreement.
The minister noted that the meeting did not discuss the issue of ‘No Work No Pay,’ but that all parties at the meeting agreed to an out-of-court settlement.
He added that the Federal Government will begin implementation of the MoU on Monday.
“The meeting agreed that we need to resolve this matter. Therefore, the Budget Office of the Federation should start from the 2021 service vote to start paying. And if we have any leftovers, we roll it into the 2022.
“Coming to hazard allowance, everybody agreed that the discussion is still ongoing and therefore government wants to finish it up.
”We agreed with NMA position to us that they don’t want to discuss holistically anymore as an association and that they have their own peculiarities that are not same with other health workers.
“We are going to do two meetings, one for NMA and affiliates and one for JOHESU. But we are taking the meetings concurrently so that we don’t run into troubled quarters. We are starting next week.”
Ngige said the NMA has been directed to submit a written position on the controversial withdrawing of doctors under the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and house officers from the scheme of service to point out the anomaly in the circular.