Reconsider your position, go back to work, we’ll continue negotiations – Ngige appeals to striking doctors
September 20, 2021
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige has appealed to the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to shelve their industrial action as the Federal Government continues to negotiate with the union to end the dispute.
Ngige made the appeal during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, as the resident doctors strike enters Day 59.
“I want to appeal to NARD for them to reconsider their position, get back to work tomorrow or next and then come back again for discussions. We have so many things to discuss,” Ngige said.
“I have nephews who are resident doctors. I have three of them at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital, UNTH Enugu, Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu. I have so many of them. I have a son who will graduate in Medicine in October. I cannot destroy the profession, I have to protect the profession too.”
The Minister also reacted to the court case filed by the Federal Government against the striking doctors.
According to Ngige, it is the Federal Ministry of Health and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation that can withdraw the case from court.
Despite the National Industrial Court’s ruling ordering the striking doctors to return to work, the Minister asked the plaintiffs – Health Ministry and Attorney General’s office as well as the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and NARD to approach the Labour Ministry to press their demands.
While noting that he had advised his colleague in the Health Ministry, Dr.Osagie Ehanire “to see what he can do so that the discussion will set off,” Ngige said he had always advocated for settlement.