President Muhammadu Buhari has assured health workers that all owed salaries and allowances would be paid.
Recall that, The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) embarked on a strike on August 2 over “salary irregularities”, among other issues.
Lately, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) have also been threatening to embark on strike.
Addressing the representatives of NMA on Friday, President Buhari asked health workers across the country to reconsider their stand on industrial action, assuring them salaries and allowances would be paid.
Acccording to a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, the president said: “The lives of citizens that could be lost or damaged, when doctors withdraw services, are precious enough to be worth opting for peaceful resolution of differences,’’
“Protecting our citizens is not to be left to government alone, but taken as a collective responsibility, in which especially medical professionals play a critical role.
“Let me speak directly to the striking doctors. Embarking on industrial action at this time when Nigerians need you most is not the best action to take, no matter the grievances.
“This administration has a good track record of paying all debts owed to government workers, pensioners and contractors and we have even revisited debts left by past administrations, once due verification is done. Debts genuinely owed health workers will be settled.
“I learnt that some of the 12 points demand in the ongoing strike were already addressed, though the review of a new hazard allowance has not been fully negotiated because of the sharp and deep division within the ranks of the striking doctors.’’