Tinubu grants waiver of ‘No Work No Pay’ for resident doctors

PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu has approved the waiver of the “No Work, No Pay” order instituted against striking members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

The order was imposed on NARD on August 1, 2023, following the commencement of their industrial action, which began on July 26, 2023

A statement signed on Friday, October 20, by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed that the waiver “will allow for the members of the NARD to receive the salaries which were previously withheld during the 17-day strike action.”

The statement, which was titled ‘President Tinubu approves waiver of the no work, no pay order on resident doctors,’ stated that the development was “in view of the faithful implementation of terms which were agreed upon during the fruitful deliberations between the Resident Doctors and the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

The ICIR reported that the resident doctors had, on Wednesday, July 26, embarked on strike to air their grievances over the Federal Government’s failure to meet their demands. The strike followed the expiration of a two-week ultimatum they issued the government earlier.

After several engagements with the Federal Government, NARD directed its members to resume work after it had suspended the two-week-old strike.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation was, as a result of the policy, directed to withhold all salaries accrued by striking NARD members during the 17-day action, according to a letter dated August 1.

The letter, which was signed by the permanent secretary of the Accountant General office, Olufunso Adebiyi and titled: “Re: Incessant strike action by Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD): Implementation of no work, no pay, policy of the federal government” was sent to the federal ministry of health to implement the policy.

“I am directed to bring to your notice the provisions of circular No.58598/S.1/1/182 dated June 22, 2016, on no work, no pay and request for the implementation of the circular to serve as a deterrent to other health workers,” the letter reads.

“I am further directed to request your good office to stop the salaries of all striking resident doctors with effect from July 26, 2023,” the letter read.

However, Tinubu, invoking the Principle of the Presidential Prerogative of Mercy on Friday, directed the grant of the waiver with a mandatory requirement that the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment must secure a ‘Document of Understanding’ establishing that this exceptional waiver granted by the President will be the last one to be granted to the National Association of Resident Doctors and all other Health Sector Unions.

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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