The Federal government has threatened to sack striking doctors if they refused to go back to work.
But the leadership of National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), seemed to rebuff this threat, insisting that members would not go back to work until until government fulfill members demands.
The two parties at a meeting that lasted almost seven hours have refused to reached a level playing ground even though the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige assured that federal government has commenced the payment of new hazard allowances to health workers.
The Minister of Health Ehanire Osagie informed that the Federal Ministry of Health would issue a directive to all medical directors in the country to open a register by 7a.m today (Wednesday) and record those who come to work and those who fail to come to work.
He worried that Nigeria is the first country in the world where doctors went on strike during a global pandemic.
Ngige said,“They said that they haven’t seen any tangible thing from government and that their accounts were yet to be credited. But I told them that the federal government has paid N2 billion to health workers across board in 14 teaching hospitals and Federal Medical Centres as at Monday.
“There are about 43 or 52 teaching hospitals and Federal Medical Centres in the country and we are paying them in batches. By Wednesday (today), the amount paid out would have hit N4 billion”.
Reacting, President of NARD, Dr. Aliyu Sokomba said, ”we would call off the strike only when the government comes up with outcome; we would call of the strike within 24 hours”.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has recorded 490 new cases of COVID-19 bringing the total number of cases in the country to 17,148 with 455 deaths.