By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—THE Federal Government, yesterday, announced a ban for medical doctors working in public hospitals to engage in private practice outside their place of work.
Government also said henceforth, the doctrine of no work, no pay, which was contained in the nation’s law, would be invoked for workers embarking on strike.
The decision was taken at yesterday’s Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Briefing State House correspondents after the weekly FEC meeting, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewale, said council decided to look into the issue of private practice by medical doctors in the public sector, adding that a committee was set up to look extensively into the issue.
He said the decision became important because of the worrisome development in the health sector, and that government was desirous to resolve the issue in accordance with what the law of the land stated and what the rule of professional ethics said.
The minister said the law of the land did not allow any public officer to do anything other than farming, adding that the committee set up to look into the matter would make appropriate recommendations to government on the issues which he said was of considerable interest to quite a number of Nigerians
FG invokes no-work, no-pay policy
Also briefing journalists, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, said henceforth, any union that embarked on strike should not expect to be paid within the duration of the strike.
Ngige said: “There were certain industrial matters that were looked into today (yesterday) in council. Council had earlier directed the SGF to set up a technical committee on industrial relations matters in the federal public service.
“This committee was set up precisely on April 27, 2016 and it produced a report. This report was all encompassing and council looked at it today. First and foremost, the report emphasized the need to implement the law on no-work no-pay. The no-work no-pay is not a rule, neither is it a policy. It is a law captured on trade disputes Act of Federation.
“So council today re-emphasised that that law is still in sitting and that it should be brought to the knowledge of workers in the public and private sector, especially those in the public sector.
“We have to do that because of the spate of industrial crisis we have suffered in the last two months, when we had plethora of strikes all over the place. So council has said this should be re-emphasised to workers so that they will know.
“Meanwhile for the strike embarked upon the last time, we will see what we can do about that because there is a law in place.
“Council also talked about job evaluation as mentioned earlier by the Minister of Health. As we speak today, there are about 14 compartments of scales in the public service. It was agreed that there is need for job evaluation to let people know their status where they should start their employment and their progression with, of course, financial attachments worked out by National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.
“Finally, council has set up a small committee to look at the Yayale report and the white paper should be brought to council for final stamp.”