The Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige has threatened to invoke some labour laws against the striking resident doctors if they refuse to end their strike.
He said he would invite them back for a negotiation on Tuesday but if they remain adamant after that, the no-work-no-pay rule can be engaged.
He made the declaration on Friday when he appeared as a guest on Channels Television Politics Today.
Naija News recalls resident doctors across the country embarked on an indefinite strike on Thursday despite an earlier meeting with the federal government.
The resident doctors noted that the strike was not meant to hurt Nigerians but to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari whose responsibilities amongst others is to care for Nigerians.
The doctors, under the auspices of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) embarked on an indefinite strike over salary arrears and owed allowances.
But reacting during the TV interview on Friday Ngige noted that while he’s optimistic the matter can be resolved, he won’t hesitate to wield the big stick if negotiations are not successful.
“By Tuesday, I will invite them back (referring to NARD). If they become recalcitrant, there are things I can do,” he said.
“There are weapons in the labour laws I will invoke. There is ‘no work, no pay’. Their employers have a role also to keep their businesses afloat, to keep patients alive. They can employ local doctors.”
He noted that the government has already taken steps to clear the backlog of owed salaries and allowances but labour laws would be invoked if the striking medical doctors refuse to shift ground.
“We won’t get there. If we are going to get there, we’ll use that stick,” he added.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has appealed to Nigerians to use the occasion of this year’s Easter celebration to pray for the country’s leaders.
The chairman, APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) and Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni made the call in a statement on Friday released by his director-general, press, and media, Alhaji Mamman Mohammed.
Buni said anyone who loves Nigeria must pray for the country and its leaders to be able to overcome its many challenges.
He noted that divine intervention is necessary at this point.