The dispute between the Federal Government and the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has taken a new twist as the Federal Government has filed a case before the National Industrial Court against the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), over the strike embarked upon by the health workers.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, disclosed this on Friday in a letter addressed to NARD and the Federal Ministry of Health.
In the statement, Ngige said most of the demands by the doctors have been met, but that they have refused to call off the strike.
“Considering the facts that members of NARD who are classified as essential services workers/employees had embarked on strike on Aug. 2, over the issues under conciliation.
”Contrary to the provisions of Section 18 of the Trade Disputes Act CAP T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004, after attending a Conciliation and Agreement Review meeting on July 22.
”Further considering that the Federal Ministry of Health claims to have and produced evidence to have met most of their demands based on the various Memorandum of Action reached during past reconciliations, especially that of July 22.
“Now therefore, I , Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, in exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 17 of the Trades Disputes Act , CAP T8 laws of the Federation of Nigeria. I, hereby refer the matter for consideration, and the issues in dispute to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria for adjudication.”
Minister of health, Dr Osagie Ehanire has said the doctors would be replaced by consultants and Corp members.
Many have called on an end to the impasse including the Leader of the supreme council for Islamic Affairs, Saad Muhammadu, saying vulnerable Nigerians have continued to be at the receiving end.
The doctors embarked on a nationwide strike on August 2, citing irregular payment of salaries and hazard allowances.