Politics

Labour Disagrees With Govts over Enforcement of COVID-19 Vaccination

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked the federal and state governments to use persuasion rather than force, to get workers and members of the public to take COVID-19 vaccines.

It, however, urged Nigerian workers and eligible members of the public to go out and take the vaccines, describing it as an effective remedy to avoid the associated sickness and hospitalisation.

Speaking at a media briefing to unveil the COVID-19 vaccination advisory for the federal civil servants in Abuja yesterday, NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said though the efficacy of vaccines for the control of COVID-19 has been scientifically proven, “the tool of persuasion and conviction be used rather than force to get workers and the general populace to take the vaccine.”

He also urged the government and other employers of labour to make special arrangement for workers to access the vaccine at their respective workplaces.

Against the background of the move by the federal government to enforce vaccination amongst its workers by setting December deadline, the NLC boss explained: “The truth is that despite being imperfect, the COVID-19 vaccine has given all of us a better chance of fighting the virus and staying alive. I urge workers all over the world to take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccines and keep themselves, their families and their colleagues at work safe and free from the morbid threats of the corona pandemic.

“We urge government and other employers of labour to make special arrangement for workers to access the vaccine at the workplace. We urge that the tool of persuasion and conviction be used rather than force to get workers and the general populace to take the vaccine.”

Wabba said the pandemic has brought some of the biggest strains, stress and squeeze to the workplace, adding that thousands of workers have died from the disease.

Wabba said: “Many of the dead from the global workforce were frontline workers. As at the third week of October 2021, more than 180,000 health workers world over had lost their lives to COVID-19.

“The high rate of fatality is unfortunate but also highlights the sacrifice that workers have made in combating and containing this deadly virus. Many more workers have their jobs and means of livelihood to COVID-19.”

He also said the biggest lesson from the pandemic was that amidst the worst crisis, the human race could rise to the challenge with great resourcefulness and resilience. According to Wabba, apart from accelerated scientific efforts at understanding the epidemiology of the virus, science has raised the bar a little higher with the breakthrough discovery of vaccine for COVID-19 which has helped reduce death rate and hospital admissions.

He disclosed that a study conducted by the United States Centre for Disease Control as of the end of May 2021, showed that there was about 63 per cent drop in hospital visitations after the introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“There was also a 63 per cent drop in hospital admissions post vaccination and 66 per cent drop in mortality for those aged 18 – 49 after the vaccination.

“I understand some people prefer to view COVID-19 vaccination with caution. Yes, it is important to proceed on issues of public health with great caution. Yet, it would be foolhardy to elevate caution above scientific evidence and facts from public health records,” he said.

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Strike/Labour

NUPENG Justifies Resolve to Go on Strike in December

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has said its Petroleum Tanker Drivers will commence strike on Monday, December 11, over the deplorable state of the nation’s highways and other issues.

The Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, South-west, Mr. Tayo Aboyeji, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, said the union has lost many lives and properties due to bad roads.

Aboyeji said all tanker drivers from the union would withdraw their services nationwide.

“This is not the first time that we will signify our intention to go on strike but we have to call it off because it will generally affect majority of Nigerians but now our hands are tied.

“We are going on nationwide strike because of the deplorable and shameful state of our highways.

“When a truck loads petrol in Lagos, the drivers spend five to six days to get to Abuja because of the shameful state of the roads.

“All calls by the executive of petroleum unions have fallen on the deaf ears of the government as the highways continue to deteriorate nationwide.

“The list of the highway are endless and the tanker drivers have been going through harrowing situation while rendering selfless national service.

“The increase rate of fire incidences involving petroleum tankers with accompanying massive destruction of lives and properties of our members and general public is enough.

“This is because of government failure to enforce installation of safety gadget on tanker.

“This will protect the inflammation contents of their trucks from spilling over in a situation of road accident.

“We see the failure of the government in this regards as height of insensitivity to lives of innocent Nigerians and union cannot continue to hold its hands while our members are getting burnt everywhere and everyday,” he said.

The zonal chairman said the union “is not happy with the unscrupulous abuse of tonnage. There are some trucks that carry 60,000 litres to 100,000 litres on the highway.

“This load has a negative effect and impact on the safety and control of drivers on the wheel as well as durability and sustainability of the highway.

“The unions do not want any truck to carry more than the approved capacity,” he said.
Aboyeji said the union had given notice to the government to put all these in order to avert the nationwide strike on December 11.

“We know that the present administration would not do anything until we start the nationwide strike,” he said.

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Health

Resident Doctors Suspend Nationwide Strike Two Months After

Members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), have resolved to suspend their two months old industrial action.

At their emergency National Executive Council meeting, held in Abuja on Sunday, NARD resolved to go back to work beginning from 8am this Wednesday.

Earlier, during the meeting, the doctors had a very long debate over how to proceed with the dispute with the government, resulting in a vote.

When the issue of sustaining the strike was put vote, 56 of the NEC members voted in favour of suspending the strike while 28 supported the continuation. Five other members were absent.
The doctors’ strike had almost crippled the country’s health sector.

A reliable source at the meeting told THISDAY last night that the leadership of NARD has been mandated to address the media today (Monday) on the decision to suspend the strike and to give the modalities and new timelines for further engagement with the federal government team.

“NARD decided after detailed assessment of its engagement with the federal government, to suspend the strike embarked upon on August 2, 2021. Majority of the NEC members voted in support of the suspension of the industrial action and to give the government another chance to redeem its promises with regards to the implementation of Memoradum of Understanding with the doctors,” he said.

The Resident doctors had gone strike to demand the implementation of the Memoradum of Agreement they reached with federal government and to protest the alleged non-payment of arrears of salaries and allowances to some of their members.

The doctors also sought the immediate release of their residency training fund and for the placement of their members in the appropriate salary structure.
After series of negotiations failed to resolve the dispute, the federal government took the matter to the National Industrial Court for resolution.

However, NARD had come under pressure from several quarters to suspend the prolonged strike action, which has had a biting effect on Nigerians.
Among those who mounted pressure on the Resident doctors to suspend their action was the parent body, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

NMA, when it led the new national executive of NARD on a courtesy visit to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, had said the continuation of the strike was no longer necessary.

“We cannot pretend that all is well. We had to look at some of the things that have unraveled since 2nd August. As you know, I’m a man of peace and my leadership is for peace. And we really want to resolve this once and for all, so we can move on. Nigerians are suffering and we can’t allow it to continue,” he said.

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Health

FG begins payment of resident doctors’ training fund

Executive members of the striking Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors are currently divided over their ongoing industrial action.

This is as a source at the Federal Ministry of Finance disclosed to our correspondent that the Federal Government began the payment of the Medical Residency Training Fund on Friday.

Payment of the Medical Residency Training Fund was one of the demands of the striking doctors from the Federal Government, as a condition to call of their month-long strike.

The PUNCH had reported that NARD at the end of its Annual General Meeting, which it held at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi, gave the Federal Government fresh ultimatums.

Among other things, the resident doctors demanded “payment of the Medical Residency Training within 72 hours since the money meant for it is available and verification of the list for payment has been completed.”

They also demanded “payment of the arrears of salaries of our members on GIFMIS platform within 72 hours while the migration process continues.”

However, 72 hours after the ultimatum was issued, the Federal Government failed to meet the demands, while the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said the government was unaware of the ultimatum.

Meanwhile, there are indications of cracks within the ranks of the striking doctors.

It was learn that new executives of NARD, alongside the Nigerian Medical Association, held a meeting with Ngige, which partly centered on indictment of former NARD executives.

Sources, who spoke with our correspondent, said the development did not seat well with NARD members loyal to the former executives.

Our correspondent learnt that since the commencement of the payment of the MRTF on Friday, government had been mounting pressure on the new NARD President to call off the protracted strike.

A top NARD executive, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said, “They (government) are already pleading that the strike should be called off because other demands are being attended to.

“This is causing a rift among the executives because you know the president is soft-spoken and it seems as if he wants to call off the strike, even though he can’t do it on his own without the consent of the NEC.”

When contacted, the New President of NARD, Dr Dare Ishaya, confirmed to our correspondent that the government had indeed begun the payment of the MRTF.

He said, “Yes, they have started paying the Medical Residency Training Fund. They have paid 20 centres. They are paying in batches. Some people from those centres have started to receive alerts.’’

“We have about 54 centres that are supposed to benefit. The remaining 34 have not seen anything yet.

“Just like we discussed with the Minister of Labour, our discussion and agreement are that when we start getting alerts, we will call a meeting with a view to suspending the strike.

“We will keep our own side of the bargain but it is still the decision of the NEC. This was part of the minimum requirements that the NEC laid down.”

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Health

Lagos State Doctors Shelve Strike as Gov Meets Demands

Following agreements reached with the state government yesterday, medical doctors in Lagos who have been part of the nationwide strike action called by the Nation Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) will resume duties immediately, the state government has said.

The government in a statement signed by its Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has met some of the requests of the issues which led the NARD to embark on the industrial action since last month.

According to the statement, Sanwo-Olu got the doctors’ union leaders smiling after a meeting at his office at Alausa, Ikeja where he told them that there was no need to have joined the strike in solidarity with their colleagues in other places because the state government had performed its duties to them.

He said among the issues discussed was the circular issued by the Head of Service (HOS) removing Housemanship and NYSC Doctors from the Scheme of Service.

The residents appealed to the Lagos Governor to revoke or suspend the circular. The HOS explained the importance of domesticating decisions made at the federal level.

“The Medical Residency Training Act, which makes provision for sponsorship of Resident Doctors training to be Specialists in Federal or State Medical Schools was also discussed. Mr Governor in April had approved for the state government to fully sponsor Resident Doctors in the State (100% of the fund). He further directed full implementation of the state’s support of both the exams and update courses that lead to qualification as specialists in various fields of medicine.

“Mr Governor approved the recruitment of over 150 new resident doctors and medical officers to reduce the human resource deficit in the public service of the state to improve the patient-doctor ratio in the state hospitals.

“Mr Governor approved the commencement of the building of the Medical Residents Quarters at LASUTH as well as other medical staff quarters across the State.

“On the discrepancy between the remuneration packages of the state and federal doctors in the public service, Mr. Governor approved the final tranche of 25 per cent difference to complete the harmonisation.”

The meeting was with members of the Lagos State Medical Guild, including executives of the Lagos State branch of the Association of Residents Doctors (ARD). Besides, Governor Sanwo-Olu, others government officials were the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat; Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola; Health Commissioner, Prof Akin Abayomi, the Chief Medical Director ( CMD) LASUTH, Prof, O. Fabanwo and Health Service Commission (HSC) Chairman Dr Atinuke Onaiga and Dr Sodipo Oluwajimi, Chairman Medical Guild and Dr Ajibowo Ismail, Secretary Medical Guild,

On the other hands, the doctors in attendant were: Dr. Sodipo Oluwajimi – Chairman Medical Guild; Dr Ajibowo Ismail – Secretary Medical Guild; Dr. Ojekunle Azeez – President ARD, Dr Salmon Abeeb LASUTH Oladapo – Secretary LASUTH Association of Resident Doctors.

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Politics

Strike: FG, doctors trade tackles

The Federal Government has vowed not to withdraw the suit it instituted against the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) unless striking doctors call off their 33-day-old industrial action which  has paralysed activities in government-owned hospitals nationwide.

It also reiterated that its stance on ‘no work, no pay’ policy remains in line with global practice as captured in Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act under the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, stated this at the weekend after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari who reviewed the nation’s health system.

Briefing State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Ngige explained that the 12-points demand of the doctors have been met.

On his meeting with President Buhari, Ngige said: “I discussed the state of the healthcare system industrial disputes with Mr. President. As you well know, the resident doctors are still on strike, their strike has now entered the 33rd day today. Meanwhile, government is doing everything possible to make sure they get back to work.

“Out of their 12-point issues raised in their demands, we have done all, we have come to agreements on all, including those that even affect the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria and medical doctors, who are in academics and teaching universities.

“So, we have handled all. The only point of disagreement now is that they said the agreements and the memorandum of action…government should inserts, include that Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act will not apply to them.

“That section says that when a worker withdraws his services from his employer, the employer is at liberty to withhold payment of emoluments to him and the ILO principles at work and strike said you can use that money to pay other people you have engaged in that particular period of strike.

“So, you have a right to strike but your employer has also the right to withhold your emolument. More importantly, in other climes, before unions go on strike, by that principle, they discuss with their workers and bring out what they call strike funds and it’s from that strike funds that the union will use to pay the workers that have gone on strike. They will also agree on the number of days the strike will last….”

He added: “I briefed Mr. President and we’ve agreed that they should come back to work and if they come back to work, we can take other things from there; we’ll drop the case in court and then they will come back and get things done.

“The Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, in conjunction with the Office of the Head of Service, had a meeting and they are jointly going to do a circular that will be issued for Salaries, Incomes and Wages to reiterate that the House Officers and Youth Corps doctors are still on CONMES scale one and two respectively. So, I think we are doing the implementation.

“Also, from the monitoring meeting we did this morning, Ministry of Health has got the list of doctors who supposedly are to benefit from the Medical Residency Training Fund. Total submission of about 8,000 names were gotten and the Ministry of Health is scrutinising them, we have done the first round of scrutinisation and they will now compare what they have with the Postgraduate Medical College and the Chief Medical Directors who submitted the names.

“The Association of Resident Doctors, in each of the tertiary centres, worked with the CMDs to produce those names, but now that the names are being verified, we discovered that about 2,000 names shouldn’t be there because they don’t have what is called Postgraduate Reference Numbers of National Postgraduate Medical College and (or) that of the West African Postgraduate Medical College.”

However, NARD’s President, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuya, insisted that they were not moved by the threat of the minister. He noted the government instituted the court action and the doctors had representation through their lawyers.

“It’s unfortunate that the Minister, Dr. Ngige, has been feeding the president with lies because he’s fortunate to find himself in that position. But he should know that he won’t stay there forever.

“Whatever the case may be, we are ready to face him in court whenever the need arises. But we won’t call off the nationwide strike not minding how long it will take. It’s unfortunate that nothing has been done as regards our demands. Outstanding salaries of our members are not paid, residency allowances not paid, among several others.

“In fact, nothing has been done as regards our demands contrary to what the minister has been feeding the president and the media with.

“It’s also unfortunate that the minister who is a medical doctor could be speaking this way, but we are not surprised because he enjoyed several privileges and scholarships to get to the position he occupied. Ngige was never a resident doctor so he doesn’t know what we are facing. But in a nutshell, we won’t succumb to his threat and we won’t call off the nationwide strike until our demands are met.”

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Nation

Ondo Doctors suspend strike after Assembly’s intervention

Members of the Ondo state chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) and its affiliates have suspended their industrial dispute with the state government after a protracted intervention by lawmakers and other stakeholders.

At a parley with lawmakers at the Ondo State House of Assembly on Wednesday, in Akure, the medical practitioners called on the state government to honour the terms of the agreement reached with them, especially payment of their outstanding salaries, in line with their colleagues in the civil service.

NMA State Chairman, Dr. Stella Adegbehingbe thanked the lawmakers and other stakeholders for their intervention, but called for the prompt payment of their outstanding salaries, to act as stimulant to members who have been out of work for sometime.

Adegbehingbe urged government not to intimidate any member for participating in the strike, through any form of victimisation.

Other affiliate members who spoke at the parley urged government to look into the payment of the stipulated welfare packages to the doctors as a way of curbing the massive drift of professional medical personnel.

Speaking earlier, Chairman, House Committee on Health, Dr Abiodun Faleye, and other lawmakers, pledged to reach out to necessary stakeholders with a view to ironing out grey areas and stemming incessant industrial disputes in the state’s health sector.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting had in attendance the Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Hospitals Management Board, Dr Olaniran Ikuemola, representative of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Uche Odionyema, and other affiliate officers of the body of  medical practitioners in the State.

(NAN)

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Nation

Labour Threatens Industrial Action to Halt Electricity Tariff Hike

Organised labour, under the aegis of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has warned that it would embark on an industrial action if the speculation about an increase in electricity tariff becomes a reality.

NLC stated this in a letter titled, “Notice on Speculations on increase in Electricity Tariff,” signed by its president, Ayuba Wabba.

The current electricity tariff charged for residential areas in both Abuja and Lagos ranges from N36 to N47.09 per kilowatt.

The federal government approved the last increase in electricity tariff in January 2021 following complaints by the operators of the distribution companies that low tariff was adversely affecting their business.

However, there have been speculations that the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was planning to grant fresh approvals for an increase in tariff by commencing the processes for the Minor Review of the Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO-2020).

According to reports, NERC is considering the inflationary pressure, foreign exchange, gas prices and available generation capacity as part of the reasons for the proposal tariff hike.

However, there have been negotiations between the federal government and organised labour on modalities to use in arriving at a tariff mechanism acceptable to both parties.

In the letter, NLC dismissed reports of an on-going plan to increase electricity tariff as mere speculation.

The letter read, “We wish to draw your attention to the wave of speculation, especially as widely reported in the media, that there are fresh plans to grant approval to Electricity Distribution Companies to hike electricity tariff.

“We write to remind the minister that organised labour on September 28, 2020 through the federal government-organised labour committee on Electricity Tariff agreed to freeze further increases in electricity tariff until the committee concludes its work and its report adopted by all the principals in the committee.

“It is in light of this that we dismiss the on-going speculation on increase in electricity tariff as mere speculations. We, however, find it prudent to put you on notice that should government make true the swirling speculation by approving an increase in electricity tariff, oganised labour would be left with no option than to deploy the industrial mechanisms granted in our laws for the defense of workers’ rights.”

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Nation

Governors pledge to intervene in Doctors’ strike

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has resolved to take a mediatory role to resolve the ongoing strike by the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

The forum disclosed this in a communiqué issued by its Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, after it 33rd teleconference held on Wednesday.

The communique issued on Thursday said that the resolution followed an update by Dr Ahmad Abdulwahab, the NGF Senior Health Advisor, regarding the ongoing strike.

It noted that the the governors resolved to take a mediatory role to facilitate dialogue between NARD and the affected States.

It stated that the forum deliberated on several issues of national importance, including the strike.

According to the communique, the forum resolved to work with the Steering Committee, set up by President Muhammadu Buhari, to oversee the process of the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Bill recently signed into law.

It noted that the governors would work with the presidential committee, headed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, on the areas of concern to the forum.

“A Committee for this purpose, Chaired by the Governor of Nasarawa, was constituted with the Governors of Abia, Ogun, Kwara, Akwa Ibom, Gombe and Kaduna states as members.

On COVID-19 Vaccine Administration, the Forum received an update on the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out for the country from the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib.

It stated that Shuaibu informed members that 3,363 vaccination sites across the 36 States the the FCT have been designated for the roll out of the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination.

“Members reiterated their commitment to provide leadership and oversight for the effective flag-off and implementation of the second phase of the vaccination exercise.”

The communique added that the governors resolved to take additional measures to curb the resurgence of the spread of COVID-19 virus by working with the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) to develop applicable guidelines.

It added that Abdulwahab briefed governors on the emerging cholera outbreak in the country which has so far affected 23 States, with over 47,000 cases recorded.

“State governors took a common position on a holistic approach to addressing Health security challenges by domesticating the National Action Plan for Health Security with the support from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to build core health security capacities in surveillance, laboratory network, emergency operations and workforce in all States.

“On the recent Federal High Court Judgment on Value Added Tax (VAT), the forum resolved not to make any pronouncements until all litigations regarding the matter are concluded.

“After a presentation by the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Ahmad Salihijo, on opportunities to strengthen collaboration between the Agency and States, the governors resolved that each State should nominate a focal person who will work with the REA to coordinate rural electrification projects in all States.

“This collaboration between States and the REA will target, among others, increase in energy access through new solar connections; and increased local content in off-grid solar value chains, including the assembly or manufacturing of components of off-grid solutions.”

It added that the governors were also updated on the States’ Fiscal Transparency,  Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme-for-Results (PforR).

The communique noted that the NGF SFTAS Senior Programme Manager, Mr Olanrewaju Ajogbasile, provided updates on the upcoming deadlines for the achievement of Disbursement-Linked Results (DLRs) and others .

These, according to him, include the ongoing Annual Performance Assessment (APA) by the Independent Verification Agent (IVA).

He listed others to be the States’ debt reconciliation exercise being carried out in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMBNP), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Debt Management Office (DMO).

It said the forum is committed to providing support and direction necessary to ensure the successful implementation of reforms recommended by the programme.

(NAN)

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Health

Why we are not suspending strike-Doctors

Doctors, under the aegis of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), have unanimously decided to continue their strike which began on August 2.

The association said Federal Government’s alleged insincerity in addressing the demands of its members, coupled with its ex parte injunctions and the misinterpretation of the ruling of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), are among the reasons it continued the strike.

NARD’s National Executive Council (NEC), which met on August 25 with over 60 of its members, noted that over 140 days after it signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with the government, nothing had been done to meet the demands.

In a statement on Thursday, NARD President Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa said: “The NEC noted the nonchalant attitude of appointees of the government to the suffering of Nigerian doctors.

“The NEC noted that despite the ongoing strike action of 23 days, its members in 23 centres under the GIFMIS platform are yet to be migrated and captured on the IPPIS platform with payment of an outstanding backlog of three to four months.

“They observed with dismay that despite the express instructions given by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Federal Ministry of Health to sidestep all technicalities in resolving the issues of dispute between us and the government, not one item on the table has been resolved.

“The NEC was also embarrassed by the misinterpretation of the court ruling by the Federal Ministry of Labour, thereby misinforming the public that the National Industrial Court (of Nigeria) had ordered that the strike should be suspended.

“The NEC painfully observed that issues bedeviling most of our state tertiary health institutions are left unattended to, despite the ongoing strike. They noted that these issues can be solved through the National Council on Health.

“The NEC was disappointed but not surprised at the Governor of Abia State for failing to offset the 19 months’ salary arrears being owed our members in his state, which he promised to pay over 23 days ago. They also frowned at the actions of the Governors of Imo, Ekiti and Ondo states, who are still owing our members 10 months, six months and four months respectively.

“The NEC noted that 114 House Officers are yet to be paid their one to six months’ salaries.

“It was surprising to the NEC that despite the unanimous disapproval and call for the withdrawal of the circular removing the House Officers from the scheme of service, the Lagos State government has gone ahead to implement the same circular in the state.

“The NEC reiterated its displeasure over the paltry N5,000 Hazard Allowance given to doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers.

“NEC recognised the public outcry occasioned by the ongoing industrial action. The association is, however, constrained as the families of the 19 members who died during the COVID-19 outbreak while providing healthcare services are yet to get their death-in-service insurance.”

He added: “After critical appraisal of the actions of both the Federal and state governments on all the issues affecting the welfare of our members, as observed above, and the perpetual insincerity from government, as evidenced by the reckless ex parte injunctions sought by the government, and the ambiguity in the interpretation of the ruling of the NICN, the NEC unanimously agreed, via votes, to sustain the ongoing industrial action until its demands are met, as contained in the MoA signed more than 140 days ago and the recent MoU signed between the government and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

“The NEC reiterated its position that the circular from the Head of Service (of the Federation) removing house officers from the scheme of service must be withdrawn.

“The NEC demanded that an emergency meeting of the National Council on Health be convoked to discuss these health emergencies and to fashion out ways to universally resolve all the issues affecting the state health institutions in the country.”

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