Members of the National Assembly are set to meet striking Nigerian doctors on Friday in a bid to avert further industrial action.
Medical services in government owned hospitals across the country have been grounded following the start of a five day warning strike embarked upon by the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors on Wednesday.
According to the President of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, Dr Emeka Orji, who was speaking Thursday during an interview on Arise TV, the striking doctors will honour the invitation of the Nations Assembly members and see if there would be resolution of the matter on hand.
“All we are hearing in the media is that the government is negotiating with us but nobody has called us for any negotiation except they are negotiating with other associations but not NARD.
“It was only this afternoon, a few minutes ago that I was informed of a meeting convened by the National Assembly tomorrow (May 19, 2023); just this afternoon, I saw the invitation but outside that, there has not been any negotiation since Monday, May 15, 2023, that our National Executive Council had an extraordinary session and declared the five-day strike that commenced yesterday.”
The government has warned the doctors to return to work and they risk losing their jobs, but Dr. Orji added.“Part of the major demands we have in our notice of strike is for the Federal Government to quickly replace the clinical staff that has left the system.
“We have been saying that we have a massive manpower shortage in our hospitals and we do not have enough numbers to contain the influx of patients in the hospitals across the country.
“So, if the government who has refused to do that is now waking up to employ ad hoc staff as a way for resolving this issue, I wish them good luck, but just like I have been saying, as long as they do not negotiate with good fate, the crisis in the health sector will continue, our members are watching.
“All they have heard so far from the government are just threats and those threats they are issuing will be what will escalate the crisis we have already.
“So, I want to call on them again to do the right thing. Our demands are clear, they are specific, they are achievable and these are things they can achieve in a matter of days, all they need to do is to show good faith and commitment to achieving them and leave all these threats. It is not going to help anybody.”
Part of the doctors demand include wage increment, massive recruitment medical workers and jettisoning the bill making it mandatory for doctors to serve five years before they are eligible to travel abroad for greener pastures.

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