- The federal government is being sympathetic to the plight of health workers in the country
- The presidency in response to the strike action embarked on by doctors has released N4.5 billion
- The minister of labour confirmed that the money was released to 31 federal teaching and medical centres across the country
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The Nigerian government on Friday, June 19, released N4.5 billion to 31 federal teaching and medical centres across the country, following the ongoing strike residents doctors embarked on.
This was revealed by Chris Ngige, the minister of labour and employment while briefing State House correspondents after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
According to Channels TV, the money which was released in the early hours of Friday is payment for hazard and inducement allowances for the month of April and May.
Recall that Nigerian doctors commenced a nationwide strike despite the increase in the cases of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the country over unpaid salaries, lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in hospitals, and other entitlements, prompting the government to issue "no work no pay" threats on Tuesday, June 16.
The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD) of Nigeria announced that they commenced a nationwide “indefinite strike” on the morning of Monday, June 15. Roland Aigbovo, the president of the ARD, confirmed this but did not give further details.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the Nigerian doctors had vowed to continue their indefinite strike action amid Covid-19 pandemic if the demands highlighted in their letter to the government are not given consideration.
The doctors emphasized that there is no going back unless the federal government pays the salaries, hazard allowances, and other arrears.
In a reaction to the government's"no work no pay" threats the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) president Aliyu Sokomba described the threat as “empty and the biggest joke of the century."
Sokomba insisted that the resident doctors will not resume working, adding the government is not sincere with the health sector of the country.
In a related development, striking resident doctors in the country were urged by Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Nigeria's minister of health to call off their strike action.
Ehanire who made the appeal while speaking on Channels Television breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, on Friday, June 19, said the present government will unfailingly fulfil its promises to health workers.
The minister who stated this in reaction to claims that the government has not kept to its promises said the Buhari-led government has a track record of being sympathetic and keeping its promises.
Ehanire assured doctors that this administration led by Buhari is the most sincere and serious government Nigeria has ever had.
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