The Federal Government has threatened to invoke the ‘no work, no pay’ policy on striking members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) if they refuse to resume work next week.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, made the declaration on Friday in a television interview.
He said: “By Tuesday, I will invite them back. If they become recalcitrant, there are other things I can do. There are weapons in the Labour Laws, I will invoke them. There is ‘no work, no pay’.
“Their employers have a role also to keep their business afloat, to keep patients alive. They can employ local doctors. We won’t get there but if we are going to get there, we will use that stick,” the minister added.
Ngige noted that the current hazard allowance of ₦5,000 for doctors was fixed in 1992, adding that it was fair and just.
He explained that the Federal Government would review the amount within the next five weeks even though he didn’t reveal the proposed amount.
“It is the last NMA President Faduyile that called my attention that the hazard allowance was ₦5,000. I raised it with the Finance Minister and the Vice President in the Economic Sustainability Meeting. In fact, to use the words of the Vice President, he said it is criminal, that it shouldn’t happen.
“The new hazard allowance will be done in the next five weeks. It is in the Memorandum of Action that we signed. Immediately after the Easter break, I will convene a meeting to look at it holistically,” he said.
It will be recalled that the resident doctors had on Thursday embarked on an indefinite strike to protest alleged failure by the Federal Government to fulfil its obligations to them.
They had earlier met with the Federal Government’s team on Wednesday over their grievances but rejected the proposals put forward by the government on how to make up for the shortcomings in the implementation of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between both parties.