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Abia doctors suspend six-month-old strike

THE Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Abia state chapter, has suspended its six months old strike to allow the present administration offset the lingering salary arrears. 

The suspension takes effect from Friday, June 9, 2023.

A statement by the NMA secretary, Dr Daniel Ekeleme, on Friday, June 9, stated that the state government, led by Alex Chioma Otti, had at different meetings promised to offset all salaries owed doctors in Abia state by December 31, 2023.

The ICIR had reported how Abia state doctors faced many financial difficulties due to the unregulated payment of salary.

The report stated that medical professionals suffered 26 months of unpaid salaries during the immediate past administration of Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu.

The ICIR confirmed that resident doctors were being owed 25 months salaries, Hospital Management Board (HMB) staff members were owed about 14 months, while other cadres of doctors in the state were owed 26 months salary arrears.




     

     

    A communique Ekeleme sent to The ICIR on Friday, June 9, read how Otti, through his Special Adviser on Health, Ngozi Okoronkwo, appealed to doctors to suspend the strike, promising he would pay the arrears.

    Part of the statement read, “Following a robust deliberation on the above-mentioned observations, NMA Abia State Executive Council hereby declares the suspension of the total and indefinite strike with effect from Friday, June 9th, 2023.

    “By this, all doctors in private, state and federal employees in Abia State should resume work on Friday, 9th June 2023.

    “This is to enable the present administration to work and offset the lingering salaries arrears. With this olive branch extended to the Abia State Government, irrespective of the hardships being experienced by doctors under Abia State Government employ, it is our expectation that the government would expedite action on the payment of the salaries as promised to avert the ugly trends of the recent past.”

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    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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