By; IYOKPO J. EGBODO, Abuja
Speaker of the House of Representatives Rt. Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila has commended members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) for calling off their nationwide strike following his interventions and those of others.
Gbajabiamila said by their action, the resident doctors have once again proved that they truly have Nigerians at heart, saying the House leadership and members appreciate them for that.
The Speaker in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, said he believed the various interventions by the House helped in no small measure in resolving the issue.
It would be recalled that Gbajabiamila had met with the resident doctors on June 9, after which the House approved the sum of N4 billion as part of their hazard allowance and ensured it was included in the revised 2020 budget.
The resident doctors embarked on their strike thereafter, but following further appeals and interventions by the Speaker and other well-meaning Nigerians, the doctors called it off.
At their virtual extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Saturday, the NARD leaders resolved to suspend the ongoing indefinite strike action with effect from Monday June 22, 2020 at 8.am.
The resident doctors also commended the efforts of the Speaker in ensuring that the issue was resolved amicably.
According to a statement on Sunday by the President, Aliyu Sokomba, Secretary-General, Bilqis Muhammad President and Publicity Secretary, Egbogu Stanley, the meeting was attended by over 300 members to consider the Federal and State Governments’ responses to the minimum demands over the strike that commenced on the 15th of June 2020.
They appreciated Speaker Gbajabiamila for his interventions that commenced with a meeting with stakeholders and culminated in the inclusion of N4bn as hazard allowance in the revised 2020 national budget.
They equally recognised the efforts of the House Committee on Healthcare Services, Rep. Tanko Sununu and members of the committee for their efforts at the resolution of the crisis.
“The Medical residency training funding has been included in the revised 2020 budget through the intervention of the Hon. Speaker, House of Representative and will be implemented as soon as the budget is assented to by the President,” the statement added.
In its resolution, the stated that: “This decision to suspend the strike action was taken in order to give the federal and state governments time to fulfil the outstanding demands following an appeal by the Speaker of the Federal House of Representative, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairman Nigeria Governors Forum and other stakeholders”.
NARD noted that its National Officers shall continue negotiations with stakeholders and progress made shall be reviewed in four weeks during the next NEC meeting in July 2020.