Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, says state governors should be blamed for allowing the recently-suspended industrial action by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to linger for months.
Recall that the National President of the association, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, had said the strike was suspended following the government’s promises in the Memorandum of Actions signed at Ngige’s instance on April 9, 2021.
“We noted that teaching hospitals are grossly understaffed and this is necessitated by the ongoing deadly brain drain killing the nation’s health care system. Our members are still in agony as a result of these delays and some House Officers are still owed up to two months’ salaries,” he had lamented.
But speaking in an interview on Friday, Ngige said that the “sub-nationals are not paying much attention to the welfare of the doctors”.
He added, “The salaries of nine months have been paid by the Govs and it is well-known that they are owing.
“It is a very sad situation when workers don’t get paid which is against the ILO conventions. It translates that your employment into a hazardous job – payment only when the employer likes as opposed to pre-agreed terms and agreement.
“The Labour Ministry doesn’t encourage it and we write to the state governments to ensure the issues are redressed especially regarding minimum wage and workers’ welfare”.