The leadership of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has rejected the new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) presented by the Federal Government, refusing to sign it.
The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) led the striking resident doctors to a meeting summoned at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari aimed at resolving the ongoing strike by the doctors across the country.
This disclosure was made by the NARD National President, Dr Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, while addressing journalists at the end of a closed door meeting with the federal government and other relevant stakeholders on Sunday in Abuja.
What the National President of NARD is saying
Uyilawa said that the NARD had refused to sign the MoU that was brokered by its parent body, the NMA, and the federal government due to an undisclosed clause.
He said, “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 the nationwide strike would continue and that they would proceed with the court case adding that the NARD leadership will have to consult with members of its association before he could sign the document.
Also, addressing journalists after the meeting, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris 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 as they had agreed on all the issues discussed.
He 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.
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It can be recalled that the resident doctors embarked on a nationwide indefinite strike on August 1, to press home their demands for its members which include unpaid benefits and allowances and other issues.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, had on August 13, handed over the trade dispute between the federal government and NARD to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria for adjudication.
The hearing on the case was adjourned to September 15.
The Federal Government had also threatened to invoke the ‘no work, no pay’ rule if the resident doctors continue with the industrial action.