By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA – Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has commended members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) for calling off their nationwide strike.
Gbajabiamila said by their action, the resident doctors have once again proved that they truly have Nigerians at heart, saying the House leadership and members appreciate them for that.
The Speaker in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, said he believed the various interventions by the House helped in no small measure in resolving the issue.
It would be recalled that Gbajabiamila had met with the resident doctors on June 9, after which the House approved the sum of N4 billion as part of their hazard allowance and ensured it was included in the revised 2020 budget.
The resident doctors embarked on their strike thereafter, but following further appeals and interventions by the Speaker and other well-meaning Nigerians, the doctors called it off.
At their virtual extraordinary National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Saturday, the NARD leaders resolved to suspend the ongoing indefinite strike action with effect from Monday, June 22, 2020.
According to a statement on Sunday jointly signed by the President, Aliyu Sokomba, Secretary-General, Bilqis Muhammad President and Publicity Secretary, Egbogu Stanley, the meeting was attended by over 300 members to consider the Federal and State Governments’ responses to the minimum demands over the strike that commenced on June 15, 2020.
They appreciated Gbajabiamila for his interventions that commenced with a meeting with stakeholders and culminated in the inclusion of N4bn as hazard allowance in the revised 2020 national budget.
“The Medical residency training funding has been included in the revised 2020 budget through the intervention of the Hon. Speaker, House of Representative and will be implemented as soon as the budget is assented to by the President.
“This decision to suspend the strike action was taken in order to give the federal and state governments time to fulfil the outstanding demands following an appeal by the Speaker of the Federal House of Representative, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chairman Nigeria Governors Forum and other stakeholders”, the statement stated.