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Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors to embarks on nationwide strike



Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors to embarks on nationwide strike

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors to embarks on nationwide strike as reinterated in a statement issued by the president of NARD, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi; Dr Jerry Isogun, the Secretary-General; Dr Dotun Osikoya, and the Publicity/Social Secretary, the union stated that if the Federal Government of Nigeria fails to meet its demands, the union will go on strike indefinitely.

The decision to strike was made at the union’s Extra-ordinary National Executive Council Meeting on Saturday at the National Hospital in Abuja, according to the statement.

The doctors reviewed the earlier ultimatum given to the government, which was due to expire on Wednesday, during the meeting, which was attended by over 50 chapters of the association from all over the country.

READ ALSO: NNPC Kyari justifies increasing fuel price in Nigeria

Major areas of focus at the meeting also include issues affecting residency training, healthcare delivery, and the welfare of members of the said union.

In their resolutions, the doctors demanded that all salaries owed to all house officers, including March salaries, be paid in full on or before the end of 31st March.

They also demanded that the exorbitant bench fees paid by their members on outside postings in all training institutions be eliminated immediately.

In addition to the above demands, the union also asked that the government starts paying all salary arrears, including March salaries, to their members in all Federal and state tertiary health institutions right away.

The union resolved to demand that the current hazard allowance be increased to 50% of all health workers’ consolidated basic salaries, as well as the payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance.

In a newsletter by Channels, the communique issued at the end of the NEC meeting read as follows:

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) held an extraordinary National Executive Council meeting on the 27th of March 2021 at the Trauma Center in National Hospital Abuja to review her earlier ultimatum and deliberate on burning issues affecting Residency Training, Healthcare Delivery and the Welfare of her members across the country.

The NEC was attended by over 50 Chapters of the Association across the country. After extensive deliberations, the following observations and resolutions were made;

The NEC observed that her earlier ultimatum given to the Federal Government during the January 2021 NEC meeting in Owerri will expire by 12 midnight on the 31st of March 2021 with no significant achievement.

The NEC reiterated her full support for the Central Placement of House Officers. Nevertheless, they decried the agony our members have been made to pass through for three months now without salaries despite uninterrupted service delivery to the nation. This is due to the inefficiency of the Registrar of MDCN in handling the processes of central placement of House Officers as approved by the Federal Executive Council since 2017.

The NEC bemoaned the suffering of some of our members in GIFMIS platform who have not been paid salaries for four months now due to delay in biometric capturing by IPPIS department.

They lamented the inhumane treatment been meted on our members in some State Tertiary Institutions like ABSUTH being owed twenty months salaries, IMSUTH five months salaries and UNIMEDTH three months salaries.

The NEC also observed that despite the three months window given to the Federal Government to review the hazard allowance of health workers, the hazard allowance has remained a paltry sum of five thousand (5000) naira monthly.

The NEC noted that despite the efforts of NARD, the erroneously paid 2020 Medical Residency Training Fund (MRTF) to non-resident Doctors is yet to be addressed. Also, 2019, some of 2020 and 2021 MRTF are yet to be paid.

The NEC also observed the non-implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act (MRTA) in some institutions in the country, especially state-owned institutions.

The NEC noted the non-payment of the arrears of Salary shortfall dating back to 2014 to our members across the country including State-owned Tertiary Institutions.

The NEC observed that up till now none of our members have benefited from the Death in Service Insurance Scheme despite our constant engagement with the relevant stakeholders with the data of our colleagues who died in service to the nation.

The NEC noted the irregular and exorbitant amounts being paid as Bench Fees by our members on outside postings.

The NEC observed with dismay that the Act regulating Postgraduate Medical Training in Nigeria established in 1979 is yet to be reviewed.

They observed the alarming rate of brain drain of doctors and other health workers to foreign countries in the face of a severe shortage of manpower in all Government-owned hospitals across the country. This is because of lack of employment in most hospitals, poor remuneration, and poor conditions of service in the health sector.

The NEC noted the efforts put in by the Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives, federal Ministries of Health, Labour & Employment and the Chairman, Committee on Health, federal House of Representatives in trying to resolve the issue of non-payment of salaries of our house officers. However, these have not yielded the desired results.

The NEC unanimously agreed that NARD should proceed on a total and indefinite strike on the 1st of April 2021, by 8am if the following demands are not met.

Immediate Payment of all salaries owed to all house officers including March salaries (regardless of quota system) before the end of business on the 31st of March 2021.

Immediate payment of all salary arrears including March salaries for our members in all Federal (GIFMIS platform) and State Tertiary Health Institutions across the country especially ASUTH, IMSUTH, and UNIMEDTH.

Upward review of the current hazard allowance to 50% of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance especially in State owned-tertiary Institutions.

Abolishment of the exorbitant bench fees being paid by our members on outside postings in all Training Institutions across the country with immediate effect.

Payment of Salary shortfalls of 2014, 2015, and 2016 to our members in all Federal Institutions including state-owned institutions as earlier agreed with NARD.

Payment of death in service insurance for all health workers who died as a result of COVID-19 infection or other infectious diseases in the country.

Universal domestication/implementation of the 2017 MRTA by all Federal Government and State-owned Training Institutions to ensure proper funding of Residency Training in the country as stipulated by the Act.

Immediate payment of 2019, the balance of 2020 and 2021 Medical Residency Training Funds (MRTF) to our members including those under state government employ.

Immediate implementation of September 2017 Memorandum of Terms of Settlement (MOTOS) between NARD and the Federal Government of Nigeria in order to bring lasting peace to the health sector and curb the ongoing ugly trend of brain drain from the health sector.

Immediate review of the Act regulating Postgraduate Medical Training in Nigeria in line with International Best Practices to remove the unnecessary rigors in Residency Training in Nigeria, one of the factors attributed to brain drain in the health sector.

Immediate commencement of employment into all Government-owned hospitals to improve service delivery to Nigerians, enhance Residency Training, and curb the attendant brain drain in the health sector.

It also demanded the reintroduction of medical super salary structure and specialist allowance for all Doctors as already approved for some other health workers. This will go a long way in ensuring peace in the health sector.

The NEC unanimously demanded the sack of the Registrar of MDCN for failure to demonstrate competence in the handling of the central placement of house officers. This will give room for smooth implementation of the central placement of house officers without further delays.

Finally, the NEC reiterated her commitment to the smooth running of all tertiary institutions in the country and the provision of specialist healthcare to Nigerians but urge the Federal Government to urgently meet the above demands in order to avert this avoidable industrial action.

On behalf of the entire membership of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, the National Executive Council expresses their heartfelt gratitude to the following distinguished individuals for their continuous support to our struggle for a better healthcare system in Nigeria.

The Honourable Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator (Dr) Chris Ngige.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire and the Director, Hospital Services Dr Adebimpe Adebiyi.

The Chairman, Committee on Health, Federal House of Representatives, Hon Dr Tanko Sununu.

The CMD, National Hospital Abuja and Chairman, Committee of CMDs in Nigeria, Dr Jaf Momoh.

The President, Nigeria Medical Association, Prof (Dr) Innocent Ujah mni.

Long live NARD.

Long live NMA.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Local scholarships

IPOB expresses concern over killing of Biafrans in Akwa Ibom and Benue



IPOB expresses concern over killing of Biafrans in Akwa Ibom and Benue

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) alleged on Friday the secret killing of its supporters and innocent people in Akwa Ibom State’s Essien Udim Local Government Area and some part of Benue State.

The group’s spokesman, Emma Powerful, alleged that the military has been terrorizing IPOB supporters in Akwa Ibom and lower Benue.

READ ALSO: Miyetti Allah to FG, 400 grazing reserves adequate to accommodate herders in Northern Nigeria

“How would a responsible military use helicopter gunboat and military aircraft against regular citizens?” he wondered. Boko Haram, Miyetti Allah, and other terrorist organizations have been targeting soldiers and police in the North East and North West without soldiers using lethal force on nearby civilian villages or using military planes to terrorize ordinary citizens.”

He promised that the relentless attacks would not deter IPOB’s determination to seek independence.

In a report by The Nation, he was quoted thus; “We are not going back, not one inch until Biafra is fully restored. All those behind these genocidal attacks against innocent Biafrans know that vengeance is coming. They will all pay individually and collectively for their atrocities against civilians sooner rather than later,”.

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Miyetti Allah to FG, 400 grazing reserves adequate to accommodate herders in Northern Nigeria



Miyetti Allah to FG, 400 grazing reserves adequate to accommodate herders in Northern Nigeria

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), speaking against the backdrop of the herders’ crisis in Nigeria, has stated that the 400 grazing reserves in the country’s northern region are adequate to satisfy all herders.

While briefing the leadership of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) at their headquarters in Kaduna State on Thursday, Baba Usman Ngelzerma, National Secretary of the association, asked the forum to place pressure on the federal and state governments to use the country’s abandoned grazing reserves, especially in the North.

According to him, there are 400 grazing reserves in the north and more in the south, specifically in Oyo, Ogun, and Lagos State. He went on to say that the time has come for the herders to avoid travelling from one location to the next.

Although calling for these concerns to be resolved, he made it clear that the subject of herders is a national one that must be addressed holistically.”

READ ALSO: EFCC and Military Police work together to fight corruption

“The government should ensure that herders are settled in grazing reserves in order to prevent the current condition in which they are dispersed across the region. This is the root of the current crisis.

“In the grazing reserves, these herders should be supplied with the requisite educational, health, and other facilities. When their standing increases, so will their economic potential and the country’s productivity. The operation of the grazing reserves should be completed as soon as possible.”

According to the secretary-general’s figures,  Lagos State alone consumes 6,000 cows a day, with 250 lorries of cows entering the southern part of the country on a regular basis. According to MACBAN, the 400 grazing reserves in the northern states should be better used and established. He continues that once the grazing lands are utilised, half of the problems will be solved.

He also said that the pastoralists’ lack of education is being abused, warning that unless herders and pastoralists are brought together in grazing reserves, the nation’s long-desired stability could be elusive.

He bemoaned the loss of over four million cows by Fulani pastoralists since the country’s crisis began.

Following receipt of the paper, ACF chairman, Chief Audu Ogbe, stated that members of the forum would review the presentation before making a decision. In a communique issued at the conclusion of the meeting on Thursday, ACF stated that mediation and consultation with other parts of the world remain the only way to restore peace in the country.

The forum denounced the actions of terrorists, kidnappers, and robbers in the North in a communiqué published and read by the forum’s national publicity secretary, Emmanuel Yawe, saying that their acts are killing the stability and development for which the North was known while the region’s founders were in control. The forum has condemned the words of some actors and leaders who have tried to incite political, cultural, and religious passions in the midst of the country’s current crisis.

To that end, it urged Nigerian politicians to show caution in their public statements in light of the current situation. It also expressed regret that abducted students from the Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation are still being held captive, and that the Kaduna State government has done nothing to secure their release.

“We, the ACF, condemn all lawless acts of self-help and urge all northern youths to put an end to such evil plans. They do not have our backing. The ACF believes in dialogue and consultation as a means of restoring stability and normalcy to our troubled region and nation,” according to the communique.

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 EFCC and Military Police works together to fight corruption



 EFCC and Military Police works together to fight corruption

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has offered its assistance to the Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police in order to ensure an effective operation in the battle against corruption. The move was made imminent yesterday, as  EFCC and Military Police works together to fight corruption.

This was the outcome of a visit by the Army’s Provost Marshal, Brigadier-General OL Olayinka, to the EFCC’s headquarters on Wednesday.

General Olayinka, who was welcomed by the Director of Operations, Abdulkarim Chukkol, on behalf of the Executive Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated that he was in EFCC to present his team and congratulate the Executive Chairman on his appointment.

READ ALSO: Tussle intensifies as questions raised on the next APC National Chairman

He praised the EFCC’s collaboration with the Nigeria Army Corps of Military Police, noting that the Corps has benefited from the Commission’s assistance over the years, especially in the area of forensic analysis. “We planned to set up our own forensic laboratory, but we haven’t done so yet. Since we also deal with financial crimes, we continue to rely on your forensic laboratory for analysis.”

“We are here to thank you for your years of support and cooperation. “No one can do it alone,” he said.

General Olayinka urged the two organizations to strengthen their current partnership.

In his response, Chukkol emphasized the similarities between the EFCC’s and the Military Police’s work and assured the Corps of increased support. “We are going to work together to strengthen the partnership,” he says.

“The job you do is close to what we do… “We are available and eager to collaborate,” he said.

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