Resident doctors suspend nationwide strike

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The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended its nationwide strike. Aliyu Sokumba, NARD president, announced the suspension of the industrial action on Thursday.

About 16,000 resident doctors commenced a nationwide indefinite strike on Monday over failure of the government to meet their demands made in June.

In June, the doctors embarked on a week strike over unpaid salaries, non-payment of hazard allowance, and a dearth of personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals, among other reasons.

The association had issued a 21-day ultimatum to the federal government to fulfill its demands.

But when the ultimatum elapsed, NARD said a strike was imminent to press home its demands.

On Wednesday, the federal government and the doctors reached an agreement to end the industrial action.

Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, said the federal government approved an additional N8.9 billion to pay up a large chunk of the June 2020 COVID-19 allowance to all health workers.

Ngige said the implementation of the payment of the special hazard and inducement allowance has been concluded, adding that this has been cash-backed and the mandate sent to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBM) for payments to start with effect from September 9.

Sokomba said the doctors resolved to suspend the strike to give government time to address their demands.

He said despite the suspension, negotiations with the federal government will continue.

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