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Resident doctors refuse to call off strike

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Members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) yesterday failed to call off their strike, which enters the eighth-day today, in line with terms of settlement signed with the Federal Government.

The association signed a memorandum of terms of settlement with government four days ago.

After a meeting, which started at about 1.30pm on Wednesday and ended at about 3.30am on Thursday morning, the government and the doctors agreed that NARD members should hold their NEC meeting on Friday to call off the strike.

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But 48 hours after the supposed meeting to call off the strike, the doctors have continued to keep silent about the industrial action, fueling speculations that they may have again rejected the terms of settlement signed with government.

One of the terms of settlement was for the doctors to meet on Friday once they started receiving alert for the shortfall in their salaries, which was one of their grievances.

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As at 6.00pm yesterday, efforts to get officials of the association to comment on why they have not called off the strike failed as none of them respond to call put through to their phones.

Part of the resolution contained in the memorandum of terms of settlement was the payment of the shortfall of salaries, capturing the resident doctors on the IPPIS payment platform, implementation of the Contributory Pension Scheme for members, among others.

The memorandum, which the doctors were to present to their National Executive Committee, was signed by Minister of Labour and Employment Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole, Minister of State, Labour and Employment Prof. Stephen Ocheni, National President of Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) Prof. Mike O. Ogirima, NARD President Dr. Onyebueze John and Chairman of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Chief Richard Egbule.

Other signatories to the memorandum were representatives of Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and the Budget Office of the Federation.

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