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‘This is COVID period’ — FG appeals to NMA, JOHESU to reconsider strike

‘This is COVID period’ — FG appeals to NMA, JOHESU to reconsider strike
September 15
23:36 2021

The federal government has appealed to members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to reconsider their decision to embark on strike.

NMA and JOHESU had issued ultimatums to the federal government over plans to embark on strike — days after the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) began their strike.

On September 8, the federal government said it had reached an agreement with JOHESU.

Speaking on Wednesday, at a meeting of the presidential committee on salaries with the leadership of NMA and its affiliates, Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, said the government remains committed to addressing their demands.

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In a statement by Charles Akpan, deputy director of press and public relations, ministry of labour, Ngige asked NMA and JOHESU to consider the current health challenges in the country, especially the coronavirus pandemic.

The minister also said the federal government is working on addressing the issues before the end of September.

“If we do so, it is to your own advantage because it has to be captured in the 2022 budget. Government will also look at its purse and if there is money, the President will sign and it will be a win-win situation for all of us,” he said.

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“Last week, we discussed with JOHESU. We had a fruitful discussion. It is in that spirit that I am asking you that this should be fruitful, so that we can rest the issue of paying N5,000 hazard allowance.

”In 2020, it was not you who informed government. It was by our own volition that we invited both sides to the meeting where we handed over special COVID allowances to medical, dental workers and other allied health workers and we did it seamlessly.

‘I don’t know whether it was because of the fear of COVID that you worked together. Today, the divide is there. Having read the altercation between you and JOHESU, which is in the media, we can’t believe that both of you are managing one patient.

”We are appealing to you; let us unite and see how we can navigate this thing. This is COVID-19 period. Stop this dichotomy between you and JOHESU. Both of you are managing one patient. It is team work. Nobody can do it alone.”

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