“The problem we face is that when agreements are signed, everybody goes to sleep,” NMA President, Innocent Ujah, said during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“So there is this distrust among workers. And this is not good for the country; because we expect that those who work for our President should be truthful, honest and should comply with the agreement.”
There were indications that the three-week-old strike would soon be called off after the doctors, under the aegis of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) met with Federal Government representatives in Abuja over the weekend.
The meeting was brokered, in part by the NMA, which is the parent body of all doctors in the country.
But the resident doctors refused to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) produced at the end of the meeting, citing the government’s decision to institute a court action over the strike.
The resident doctors also said the government must reverse its ‘no work, no pay’ policy.
Meanwhile, a NARD spokesperson, Julian Ojebo, has said the resident doctors will not resume unless their benefits have been paid.
Ojebo, while speaking on Sunrise Daily, said resident doctors have been left ‘impoverished’ by the government’s inability to meet its demands.
“We are not on strike for added allowances; we are not on strike for any other thing,” Ojebo said. “We are on strike for our normal due salaries that you have not paid from January to July.
“We are talking about salary shortfalls that you have not paid from 2014 to 2016. We are talking about monies you have not paid for our medical residency training program. These are the issues on the table, and these issues have not been resolved.”
He noted that signing MoUs was an academic exercise that does nothing to address the doctors’ demands.
“Payment of our benefits are the only actionable plans that can actually make us sign any memorandum of agreement of terms,” he said.
“Other than these, I don’t think we are being fair.”