Medical Doctors in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) might halt the industrial action they embarked on last week.
Naija news learnt the decision to halt the strike is subject to the timely intervention of the House of Representatives after a meeting with representatives of the striking health workers and the management of the FCT on Tuesday.
Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, who had mandated the Rep. Tanko Sununu-led Committee on Health Services to intervene and ensure that the matters are resolved, pleaded with the health workers to consider the effect of the industrial action on the larger society, especially at this period of global health challenges.
At the meeting with the Committee were members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) as well as Nurses and Midwives Association, while the Director, Human Resources, FCT, Muhammad Bashir, who led other management staff to the meeting, stood in for the Permanent Secretary.
According to the NARD President, FCT Chapter, Roland Aigbovo and the Chairman, MDCAN, Abuja Chapter, Igbinovia Imotiyan, the striking workers’ grievances bordered on the failure of the FCT management to pay arrears of some allowances due to some of their members.
It also bordered on non-payment of salary to some members employed since October 2019, irregular and incomplete salary payment of members since the management of FCT migrated to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in January 2020, as well as promotion arrears issues.
According to the groups, congresses would be conveyed within 48 hours and would strive to convince their members to call off the strike based on the intervention of the House and the assurances by the FCT management.
While addressing the striking workers and the FCT management, Gbajabiamila urged the health workers to allow the intervention of the House to prevail, noting that the ripple effect of the industrial action would be enormous, not only for FCT residents but for the country as a whole.
He said: “When I heard of the strike, I knew it’s going to be problematic for us in FCT. As doctors, I think you should be able to take a lot more pain, your threshold should be higher, the strike should be the last option you want to consider.
“I appeal that you should just tarry a little while, especially at this time, with what is going around, most of the issues at stake here are peculiar
“As for FCT, if it’s a question of entitlement and people are not paid, this House won’t sit back and allow that to happen. This is the result (strike) we get if you aren’t paid and we don’t know who’ll be affected.
“While I appeal to the workers on strike, the government must do its part. You can’t go into an agreement with people and don’t fulfill it.
“Please allow the House to intervene, to broker a deal for the sake of those whom we don’t know that would be affected, for the sake of humanity
“Please let’s reverse our steps and give us some time and let’s see how far this intervention would go. By then, when we would have known that you have bent forward backwards and accommodate all shades of opinions.”