Kogi doctors suspend 72-day-old strike

Kogi state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has suspended its 72-day-old strike to enable further negotiations with the state government.
Chairman of the chapter, Godwin Tijani, said this yesterday in a statement after an Emergency Congress Meeting of the association in Lokoja.
He said the suspension was to honour the NMA National President, Mike Ogirima, who appealed to the congress to suspend the strike, to further dialogue with the state government.
Tijani also said the Congress decided to suspend the strike due to the plea from the general public, coupled with the love the doctors had for the patients.
“All doctors working with Kogi Government are hereby directed to resume work as from Thursday, March 22. The congress also expected the state government to pay the arrears of salary owed its doctors within the next one month and address other issues that resulted in the strike, to avoid another round of strike.
“The congress warned against any form of victimisation of any member of the association that participated in the strike as such action will be resisted by NMA. The association, however, commends the medical elders, CMD KSSH, CMD HMB, Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Matters, Dr Attah Ahmed.
“We also praise the Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, all for their role to ensure amicable resolution of the crisis.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NMA on January 7, directed its members in all the state hospitals to embark on strike due inability of the state government to meet their demands.
The demands include: “Irregularities in salary payment for doctors. 10 doctors owed salary ranging from four to 15 months, gross underpayment of salaries to doctors with some receiving as low as N35, 000 per month; non-promotion and annual step increment for several years, non-implementation of Revised CONMESS, 60 per cent payment of August to December 2017 salary to doctors while implementing 100 per cent tax deduction from the same salary; retirement of senior doctors yet to attain the statutory age or year of retirement, implementation of ‘No-work-No-Pay’ policy in the ongoing strike by not paying doctors January 2018 salary.”