Resident doctors meeting deadlocked as strike continues

Striking resident doctors ended their meeting in the early hours of Saturday without a resolution.

The meeting PREMIUM TIMES learnt, will continue today, Saturday.

The executives of the resident doctors, NARD, met to review the offer of the federal government at their meeting with the government delegation on Wednesday. The government delegation included the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, and Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige.

There had been optimism among Nigerians that the strike, which commenced last Monday, would be suspended when the doctors meet to review the government’s offer.

During the meeting, the federal government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the association, in which it promised to pay all salary arrears on or before Friday.

It was however gathered that the federal government is yet to fulfil its part of the agreement.

Hours before the Friday night meeting, a member of the National Executive Council of NARD, Arikawe Adeolu, confirmed to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja that the government had reneged on the agreement.

He said that the government failed to pay the backlog of salary arrears to the doctors as it promised on Wednesday to effect within two days.

Mr. Adeolu, who is also the General Secretary of NARD at the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Jabi, Abuja, said that as at the close of work on Friday, no member of the association had been paid.

Apart from the non-payment of the salary backlog, sources at the Friday‎ meeting said some leaders of the NARD frowned at the meeting being held 48hours after the meeting with the federal government contrary to the minimum 72 hours stated in their rules.

Officials that attended the meeting, which started at about 11 p.m. and continued to the early hours of Saturday, declined to comment on whether or not the strike that has grounded activities in many government hospitals will be suspended.