Why we rejected new MoU with FG – Resident doctors

NARD President, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi and Minister of Labour, Chris-Ngige

By Joan Nwagwu

The  strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) which has crippled government owned healthcare facilities across the country will continue as the body has rejected the new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) presented by the Federal Government.

Dr Okhuaihesuyi Uyilawa, NARD National President,, told newsmen at the end of a closed door meeting with the federal government and other relevant stakeholders on Sunday in Abuja that the association had refused to sign the MoU that was brokered by its parent body, the NMA, and the federal government due to an undisclosed clause.

“We rejected the MoU, we didn’t sign it because we feel we are being punished for the failures of those in government,” he said.

He said the nationwide strike would continue and that they would proceed with the court case.

He however added that NARD leadership has to present the new MoU to its members before he could sign the document.

On his part, Ngige said that all other unions in the negotiation including the NMA and the Medical and Dental Consultants of Nigeria have signed the new agreement.

He noted that the meeting did not discuss the issue of ‘No Work No Pay’ but that all parties at the meeting agreed to an out-of-court settlement.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) led the striking doctors to a meeting summoned at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari aimed at resolving the ongoing strike by doctors across the country.

The resident doctors embarked on an indefinite strike on Aug. 1 to press home the issues of agitation amongst their members.

It would also be recalled that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, had on Aug. 13, handed over the trade dispute between the federal government and NARD to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria for adjudication.