The intervention of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has made the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria (NARD) to suspend its planned industrial action.
The association had threatened to commence a nationwide industrial action on Monday July 22, to press home their demands.
This was made known in a statement issued by the speaker’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Lanre Lasisi, on Monday in Abuja.
NARD had at the end of its 39th Ordinary General Meeting held in Benin City, Edo, called for the payment of outstanding salary shortfalls and arrears of its members, and issued a 40-day ultimatum.
The association is also demanding appropriate placement in grade levels of doctors who suffered same scale promotion.
It is also asking state governments to look into their tertiary health institutions to immediately halt the decay in providing access to quality healthcare to the citizenry.
According to the statement, the speaker appealed to the resident doctors through the immediate past Secretary-General of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Rep. Yusuf Sununu, a member of the House, to give him time to make consultations on the issues at stake.
The statement said that NARD’s National President, Mr Olusegun Olaopa, had confirmed the suspension of the strike.
“The union had to put it on hold to honour the Speaker till Monday, 29 July, when the Speaker would meet with the union.
“It was based on the ultimatum that we gave earlier, which we served the Speaker and based on the discussion with the Speaker, who actually showed good intention to intervene in the matter, we felt that it is honourable for us to meet and take his intervention.
“For now, we considered to hold on any action that we want to take, we thought that since the speaker has intervened, we should give him the honour at least to meet with him and allow him to intervene in the matter before we go ahead.
“So the meeting has been fixed for Monday. We are planning to make some concessions to allow us to meet with the speaker first and see his good intervention before we consider any other action,” the statement quoted Olaopo saying.