Nigerian doctors end strike over pay

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Edozie Udeojo,Abuja

National Association of Resident Doctors says strike was suspended to give government enough time to meet its demands.

The National Executive Council meeting of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), has suspended its ongoing indefinite nationwide strike over pay, inadequate facilities and a lack of protective equipment, union leaders said.

The strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), which represents some 40 percent of Nigeria’s doctors, began on Monday called of its industrial action from 11 September 2020 by 8am.

It was the latest in a string of work stoppages to hit the country as it struggles to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

NARD president Aliyu Sokomba told AFP the industrial action was suspended on Thursday to give the government enough time to meet its demands.

This was announced at a virtual meeting held to review the NARD strike.

The National Executive Council which was attended by 350 doctors, NOC, NEC, Past Presidents, Caucus leaders, Committee Chairmen, and observers however urged local chapters where the conditions of service has not improved to continue with the industrial action at the respective states until their demands are met.

“The NEC (National Executive Council) of the association has resolved that the strike be suspended because nobody has received a dime anyway. But because we have received commitment from the government,” he said.

“We always give them time to do what they want. We have asked them what time they want and they say two weeks. We are giving them the two weeks.”

Unlike previous strikes, medics treating coronavirus patients were part of the latest action.

On Wednesday, Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire had appealed to the doctors to return to work, describing their action as “ill-timed and ill-advised” at a time when Nigeria is battling the pandemic.

There are some 42,000 doctors in Nigeria, out of which 16,000 are resident doctors – medical school graduates training as specialists.

Doctors have long complained of a lack of beds and drugs in hospitals as well as inadequate protective kits.

Other demands include life insurance coverage, a pay rise and payment of unsettled wages.

In June, the NARD staged a week-long strike, but doctors treating coronavirus cases remained on the job.

Authorities fear any reduction in capacity could harm the country’s ability to tackle the pandemic as its number of infections continues to rise.

Nigeria – Africa’s most populous nation with 200 million inhabitants – has recorded 55,632 cases and 1,070 deaths since the first confirmed case of the virus in February.

About 1,000 health workers have been infected with the virus, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

The NEC also said that its decision would be reviewed in 2 weeks’ time.


1. NEC noted commitment of FG to procure Group life insurance.

2. NEC noted the inclusion of the 2020 Medical residency training funding in the revised 2020 budget and the promise of Federal government to effect payment within two weeks.

3. NEC noted that government has approved the release of 8.9 billion Naira to offset the outstanding balance of April/May and June COVID-19 hazard inducement allowance to all health workers.

4. NEC noted the decision of the government to determine revised hazard allowance as soon as possible.

6. NEC noted that the outstanding salary shortfall of 2014, 2015, 2016 has not been paid to her members.

7. NEC observed the plight of her members in state tertiary hospitals such as the non-domestication and non-implementation of Medical Residency Training Act at the state level, the non-implementation of appropriate salary structure, and the non-payment of owed salaries.

The National president of The National Association of Resident Doctors, Dr Aliyu Sokonda, also appreciates President Muhammadu Buhari, for his commitment to the course of Nigerians and Nigerians for standing with NARD during the period of industrial disharmony.

He appealed to relevant stakeholders to ensure that government keep to their own side of the bargain.