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FG Won’t Pay Striking Doctors, Minister Insists

Oluwasina Phillip

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire has insisted that the government will not pay the striking doctors, in compliance with the International Labour Organisation.

Ehanire disclosed this during a press briefing at the State house

According to him, the ‘no work no pay’ principle is an ILO regulation and the government is in full support and ready to adopt the regulation.

Recall that the Resident Doctors had embarked on an indefinite strike on the 2nd of August to protest the lack of readiness of the government to meet the demand of the association.

The demands of the association includes: payment of outstanding doctors’ salaries and hazard allowances minimum, enrolment of doctors in the integrated personal payroll information systems, amongst others.

According to the minister, most of the demands of Doctors are not under the jurisdiction of federal government but the states.

He said, “We have said openly that this is not a good time for doctors to go on strike. We’re having a strike for the third time this year, which is not good. We have appealed to them. We have been having long meetings with young doctors to tell them that look, we have a certain responsibility to our country.

“Every country that has a difficult situation at this time should understand that responsibility is on all of us. If you have any problem, any grudge, let’s talk about it. If we can’t solve it now, let’s continue talking about it until we find a solution but don’t drop work.

“I think Nigeria is probably the only country in the world today where doctors are dropping work in the middle of a threat to the whole country. So that’s what we have advised. There has been no threat.

“Nobody threatened anything. We are just appealing, all of us are doctors, all of us went through the same residency. We’re saying this is not the time, let’s continue to talk about it.

“So that no-work no-pay is not just the government regulation, it is specifically stated in the International Labour Organisation that if you do not work if you have not given any service, you can’t expect remuneration.

“Among the 12 original demands that they made, seven were state-related. They’re not federal.”

Speaking further, the minister noted that the federal government cannot compel a state to pay a certain salary they cannot afford.

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