The Nation

‘No work, no pay’ — FG stops salaries of striking resident doctors

BY Ebunoluwa Olafusi


The federal government has ordered the stoppage of payment of salaries of members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) who are currently on strike over unresolved welfare issues.

The government said it has invoked the “no work, no pay” policy to ensure that members of the association are not paid and also to serve as a deterrent to other health workers.

On July 26, NARD embarked on an indefinite strike over the failure of the government to meet the demands of its members.

Parts of the demands include payment of the 2023 medical residency training fund (MRTF); immediate release of the circular on one-for-one replacement and upward review of the consolidated medical salary structure (CONMESS).


Others are payment of outstanding arrears of consequential adjustment, hazard and skipping allowance.

According to NAN, a letter dated August 1 and titled: “Re: Incessant strike action by Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD): Implementation of no work, no pay, policy of the federal government” was sent to the federal ministry of health to implement the policy.

The letter, signed by Olufunso Adebiyi, the permanent secretary in the office of the accountant-general of the federation, was addressed to Andrew Noah, director of hospital services, federal ministry of health.


The document noted that various conciliatory meetings by the ministry of health, ministry of labour and employment, government stakeholders and the national assembly with the association to call off the strike proved abortive.

“I am directed to bring to your notice the provisions of circular No.58598/S.1/II/182 dated June 22, 2016, on no work, no pay and request for the implementation of the circular to serve as a deterrent to other health workers,” the letter reads.

“I am further directed to request your good office to stop the salaries of all striking resident doctors with effect from July 26, 2023.”

Reacting to the development, Innocent Orji, NARD president, said the “no work, no pay” policy would aggravate the issues and escalate the ongoing strike.


Orji said the federal government has worsened the agitation when it claimed it could not do much because there is no substantive minister.

“Now for a ministry that has taken that position to now muster the capacity to be issuing a letter to communicate their plans for punitive measures, our members are angry about it,” Orji said.

“We are going to meet this weekend and I can tell you from what we have heard from our members that there will likely be massive escalation by next week.”



Orji added that the federal government has not had any negotiation with the association since the strike commenced.

“We had talks before the strike started, we have said before that they do not need talks to pay MRTF 2023. It is in the budget and the funds are there,” he said.

“They do not need talks or meetings to release the circular on one-for-one policy for the replacement of exited clinical workers so that they can replace those who have left the system. Our members are just working round the clock alone doing the work of so many people.

“If you tell me that for skipping arrears, for CONMESS review that demands negotiations fine, but for these other ones, nobody needs any special meeting to do that and that is the problem.

“Assuming they did two or three things, of course, doctors can now decide to consider coming back to work and give more time for discussions to resolve the other issues but that has not happened.

“A government that has made promises and decided to renege on those promises and on the memorandum of understanding (MoU) it signed with us and they are doing this, it will only aggravate the matter.

“We will have our meeting this weekend, whatever happens from next week let it be put on record that they caused it.”

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