Monday, November 29, 2021

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‘FG will decide their fate’ – Ngige fumes over doctors strike

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has described the decision of resident doctors to embark on a nationwide strike as an action taken in bad faith.

The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Thursday, April 1, ordered its members across the country to go on indefinite strike hours after its executives signed an agreement with the federal government.

As a result, tertiary hospitals in the country were left crowded with patients, many of whom were not attended to.

Although the health institutions deployed consultants in attending to patients, the specialists could not cope with the number of patients who thronged the hospitals.

Reacting to the doctors’ action, the FG expressed anger and threatened it t would decide the fate of the doctors if they refused to call off the strike before the weekend.

Ngige threatened that if the resident doctors remained adamant by the weekend, the government would decide their fate, Punch reports.

He said the government was surprised that the resident doctors could still proceed on their strike after agreements were reached on all their demands

“You should be asking them (the resident doctors) what went wrong. They signed an agreement that we had with them. It is called a memorandum for action,” a seething Ngige said.

“We took all the items one-by-one and had an agreement on each item and we agreed to reconvene in the next four weeks to know the degree and level of implementation.

“We agreed on everything. There is no point we did not agree on. Get a copy of the agreement and see what I am talking about.”

The minister said at the close of the meeting when the agreement was signed, the representatives of the NARD gave him the impression that they were still meeting on the agreement.

He added, “It (the strike) is in bad faith which I am ready to concede to them that they don’t know the implication of what they have done in labour parlance.

“They have come for conciliation. Their trade dispute has been apprehended. Agreements have been reached and they reneged on the agreements. How the thing works is that if you don’t agree on anything, then you don’t sign an agreement”

He however said a decision would be taken by weekend if the strike continues.

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