Ngige says money has been disbursed for payment of backlog of resident doctors

As announced by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has begun the payment of backlog of resident doctors nationwide.

Dr Ngige made the revelation yesterday at the resumed negotiations between government and the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) in Abuja, where he also explained that the office of the Accountant General of the Federation had remitted the arrears to the apex bank for immediate action.

The minister also accused the doctors of violating Section 18 of the Trade Union Dispute Act of the Federation 2004.

He said, “I do not think is very fair to the Federal Ministry of Health which is the employers of the doctors. In this ministry, we act as conciliators. Even though I am a government minister, I am a chief conciliator. If the government is wrong, I will tell them that they are wrong. If the employees are wrong, I will say so and at the end of the day, we will find a way to conciliate and make for equitable industrial relations.”

Also yesterday, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) blasted the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, for reportedly directing all chief medical directors and medical directors of federal hospitals to employ the services of ad hoc doctors pending the resolution of the crisis.

It described the order as reckless, unguarded and very unbecoming of the office of a highly placed government functionary.

In a statement by its president, Bobboi Bala Kaigama, TUC said Nigeria had become a joke in the comity of nations owing to remarks lacking intellectual depth.

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