I thought it was April F*ol when doctors started strike – Labour Minister, Ngige .

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has said he thought doctors in Nigeria were playing a prank when they embarked on an industrial action.

The minister, who assured that the government will end the ongoing nationwide strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), said this on Friday, September 3, in Abuja.

According to him, “In September 2020, they put a notice of strike, asking for Medical Residency Training Fund  by which each of them will get N542, 000 to cover cost of books and journals for that particular examination, transportation and lodging for three days.

Luckily, a supplementary budget was being put together and it was included  and was paid to them. They called off the strike. By March this year, they listed other things again. They said the Residency Training Fund was not in 2021 budget.

They also needed the hazard allowance to be upgraded and demanded that states should domesticate Residency Training Act. They said some states owed their people long months of salaries. They also wanted skipping allowance  and arrears of consequential adjustment to minimum wage.

Before we could say Jack Robinson, they went on strike on April 1. I thought it was April f*ol until April 2 when we didn’t see them at work. I told them that they didn’t give the mandatory 21 days’ notice to their employers who have written to me to complain.

However, we returned to the table. Government pledged that the 2021 Residency Training Fund will be captured in the supplementary budget.  This has been done and payment ready.”

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