Article Summary

  • The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), issued a strike notice to the Federal Government on Tuesday
  • Earlier, NEC issued a two-week ultimatum issued to the government which expired days ago without any move made to resolve the issues
  • Various demands were made such as salary increase, infrastructural development, immediate recruitment, others

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, has issued a strike notice to the Federal Government on Tuesday via the Minister of Health, warning that it cannot guarantee further industrial harmony if the issues raised are not addressed by May 29th, 2023.

Earlier, NEC issued a two-week ultimatum issued to the government which expired days ago. Unfortunately, the government did not reach out to the Association nor made any significant moves at resolving the issues raised.

The doctors stated in a communiqué that was released at the conclusion of the extraordinary National Executive Meeting that they would go on a five-day warning strike that would end on Sunday, May 20, 2023, and that work would resume at 8:00 am on Monday, May 22, 2023.

During the Extra-Ordinary National Executive Council Meeting held on Monday, 15th May 2023, NARD NEC resolved to embark on a Five – Day warning Strike commencing by 8:00 am on Wednesday, 17th May 2023, hoping that Government would see the need to resolve these issues urgently to avoid a further crisis in the health sector.

What the letter states

In a letter titled “Notice of Strike Action,” jointly signed by NARD President Dr. Innocent Orji and Secretary-General Dr. Chikezie Kelechi, both recalled that NARD had issued a two-week ultimatum to the Federal Government to resolve issues outlined in the ultimatum before it expired on May 13, 2023.

The letter reads:

  • Regrettably sir, these issues have remained unresolved despite several attempts by NARD to get Government to resolve them”.
  • “We are always open to negotiation and any genuine efforts aimed at resolving these issues as quickly as possible. Please accept Sir, the assurances of our esteemed regards.”

The communiqué also called on the Federal Government to address the issues raised before the handover date, adding that, the NEC will also review progress made during and after the strike in the next two weeks and decide the next line of action.

  • “NEC considers this embarrassing for a nation touted as the “Giant of Africa. NEC frowned at this development and wondered how the Government could claim to have the interest of the Nigerian citizens at heart and still neglect such a well-publicized ultimatum”.
  • “NEC regrettably observed that most of the issues raised had been contained in previous ultimatums issued to Government last year but still extended to the present time despite the refusal of the Government to act on them. NEC wondered how we got to this point as a nation and hoped this dangerous trend is reversed as quickly as possible,” NEC stated.

The demands raised by the doctors

Some of the demands of the doctors reviewed by NEC include:

  • The immediate and massive recruitment of clinical personnel in hospitals
  • The removal of bureaucratic constraints on the immediate replacement of doctors and nurses who leave the system.
  • Immediate infrastructure development in the hospitals, followed by a subsequent allocation of at least 15% of budgetary provisions to health in accordance with the Abuja Declaration of 2001.
  • Immediate increase in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure to the tune of 200 percent of Doctors’ gross salary, among other things.