By Victor Ahiuma-Young
ABUJA— Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has warned new leadership of Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, to stop further “meddlesome interloping” in the ongoing negotiations with the striking Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, saying such interference is not acceptable.
A statement through the Ministry’s Director of Press, Prince Samuel Olowookere, equally told NMA leadership to stop issuing threats to the Federal Government as it was firmly resolved to achieve a lasting industrial peace in all sectors without prejudice to perceived group interests.
The statement said: “The attention of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has been drawn to media reports credited to the new Executive of the NMA, wherein the body has taken to meddlesome interloping in the ongoing negotiations with the striking Joint Health Sector Unions. The Minister wishes to state that in trade unionism, such meddlesomeness arising from an unhealthy inter-union rivalry will adversely put pressure on social dialogue mechanism, clog the wheel of progress and in this instance, retard the return of industrial harmony in the entire health sector.
“Hence, the NMA should desist from further interference of any form, in the ongoing negotiation and stop issuing threats to the Federal Government as it is firmly resolved to achieve a lasting industrial peace in all sectors without prejudice to perceived group interests. Besides, I wish to appeal again to JOHESU to call off its strike as the CONHESS table that corresponds with the 2014 CONMESS adjustment with medical doctors has been appropriately addressed by the National Salary Income and Wages Commission and given as an offer in the spirit of equity.”
I therefore plead that you consider the tragic consequences your action has already brought on the vulnerable patients in hospitals across the nation.”