- Give FG Four Weeks To Address Demands
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended its strike which began on the 1st of April.
The suspension follows a Memorandum of Agreement between the federal government and NARD.
The agreement was contained in a statement released by the National President, NARD, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, after its meeting with the federal government delegation in Abuja.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige in his statement said a five man committee has been set up to harmonise the demands of the striking health workers.
His statement reads, “in view of this situation, a five-man committee was set up to harmonise the list of affected officers and they have 72 hours to produce a valid list.
“The list will be submitted to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System through the Federal Ministry of Health,’’ Ngige added.
“This is to enable us to accommodate this in the 2021 supplementary budget,’’ the minister said.
On salaries, Dr Ngige noted that the presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS) would meet with the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission on April 12 to examine the Hazard Allowance issue.
On the issue of hazard allowance, the Minister directed that NARD comes up with a position paper which should be submitted at the meeting between the Presidential Committee on Salaries, the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, the Nigeria Medical Association, and the Joint Health Sector Union on April 14 at the Federal Ministry of Labour.
The meeting also considered abolishment of the bench fees, residency training allowance, group life insurance payment and payment of residents on GIFMIS platform.
He added that the NMA, the Joint Health Sector Unions, NARD and other stakeholders would meet on April 14, 2021 with the PCS with their position papers on the issue
In his words, Dr. Okhuaihesuyi, said the association is satisfied with the outcome of the meeting and has called off the strike.
He however gave the government four weeks ultimatum to meet their sundry demands.
He said: “The strike has been suspended. The government gave us some good comebacks from our negotiations.
“We had an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting an hour ago, and we decided to suspend the strike for four weeks.”
The meeting also considered the abolishment of the bench fees, residency training allowance, group life insurance payment and payment of residents on GIFMIS platform.
Below are the new commitments reached at Thursday meeting as contained in the communique:
NON-PAYMENT OF HOUSE OFFICERS (H/Os)’ SALARIES:
The meeting noted the efforts of the Medical and Dental Council (MDCN) and OAGF and praised them for working over the holidays to effect payments. The meeting however noted that the payment of the House Officers’ salaries experienced some irregularities as double payments were made to some H/Os in some centers and a few have not been paid as of date. In view of this situation, a 5 man Committee was set up to harmonize the list of the names submitted by NARD, Chairman, Committee of Chief Medical Directors (CCMD) with MDCN. The Committee was to work for 72 hours and produce a valid list to IPPIS through the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH).
The Committee is made up of:
a) FMoH -Dr. M. C. Maha – Chairman
b) MDCN – Dr Henry Okwuokenye – Secretariat
c) IPPIS- Emmanuel Akor
d) NMA- Dr Philip U. Ekpe
e) NARD- Dr. Kingsley Okeke
f) Committee of CMDs – Dr Jaf Momoh
ii). IPPIS is to as soon as possible create a platform where all payments made and the recipients would be made available for accessibility and information, without which it would be difficult to determine those that have been paid and those not paid.
iii). IPPIS should adopt the folio number of H/Os as a means of identification of them as they are being engaged and for their payments.
- ABOLISHMENT OF THE BENCH FEES:
It was earlier agreed as part of MoA 1 that the policy should be abolished following due process to be initiated by Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) through the National Council on Health (NCH). During the transition period, CMDs are to waive this payment. The Permanent Secretary FMoH is to issue a circular to this effect and send a Memorandum on this for ratification at NCH whenever convened.
- (A) NON-PAYMENT OF NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE CONSEQUENTIAL ADJUSTMENT ARREARS
(B) SALARY SHORTFALL IN 2014 – 2016 OF RESIDENT DOCTORS
NARD and CCMDs should immediately submit list of affected institutions and personnel strength in order for it to be captured in the 2021 Supplementary Budget. The arrears should be from April 2019 to December 2019 as in MoA 1.
The Budget Office of the Federation (BoF) informed that a circular was earlier issued by the Honourable Minister of Finance setting up a Committee to look into the issue of all shortfalls and is chaired by the Director General (DG) BoF.
The CCMDs and the Permanent Secretary of the FMoH are to work on this with the assistance of the BoF in order to also capture it in the Supplementary 2021 Budget. The special issue of the 2014 – 2016 Salary Shortfall is to be treated here too. Two (2) weeks is dedicated to this.
- RESIDENCY TRAINING ALLOWANCE
It was reported that 558 people who are not Residents were wrongly paid and bonafide Residents who were not paid are 1003 in number. Those not paid will be captured in the 2021 Supplementary Budget while those wrongly paid will be requested to refund same. The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) is to provide a special account for this remittance. The Post Graduate Medical College is to henceforth compile the list of all Residents eligible for this payment and transmit to the Budget Office (BoF) through the Federal Ministry of Health.
- HAZARD ALLOWANCE
The meeting noted that the issue is not peculiar to NARD but cuts across the entire Health Sector and her workforce. The meeting was informed that the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS) would be meeting on Monday, 12th April, 2021 at the Federal Ministry of Finance to examine the hazard allowance issue with National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) after which the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), NARD and other stakeholders will meet on Wednesday, 14th April, 2021 in the Federal Ministry of Labour (FML&E) with their position papers with the PCS.
NARD is to come with their position paper as part of the NMA team.
GROUP LIFE INSURANCE PAYMENT
On Group Life Insurance claims for deceased NARD members, NARD should facilitate the compilation of the list of deceased members by CMDs at the appropriate desk in their institutions. This will be forwarded to the relevant insurance Companies for payment through the FMoH.
This should be accomplished on or before end of April 2021.
- PAYMENT OF RESIDENTS ON GIFMIS PLATFORM
The meeting noted that NARD is happy with the progress being made to migrate affected Doctors from GIFMIS to IPPIS platform before the end of April 2021. IPPIS confirmed that one week after getting the verified list from BoF, payment will be made.
In view of these understandings, NARD National Officers Committee (NoC) will consult urgently her Executive Council with a view to giving this conciliation process a chance for industrial peace by calling off the strike embarked on 1st April 2021.
NARD is to communicate to the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment on their decision before 12 noon of 10th April, 2021.
No member of NARD is to be punished for this strike.