President Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday head to London for “a scheduled medical follow-up” amid threats by resident doctors to proceed on another strike.
The president’s spokesman Femi Adesina had announced Buhari’s trip on Thursday, saying he would be back “in the country during the second week of July, 2021.”
Just before Mr Adesina announced the president’s itinerary, the National Association of Resident Doctors issued a fresh four-week ultimatum to the federal and state governments to address its demands including the payment of hazard allowances.
The association in a communiqué issued at the end of the virtual emergency National Executive Council lamented the failure of the government to fulfil the conditions it laid down with led to the suspension of its strike in April.
Among others, the NARD said it observed that salary arrears of January, February and March of its members particularly in the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital and University College Hospital, Ibadan had been paid but was deeply worried about the re-accumulation of unpaid salaries in coming months if these members are not captured in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System
The association also lamented the extortion of money from its members by the Lagos University Teaching Hospital under the guise of minimum wage while also stating that nothing had been done by the Federal Government to the implementation of national minimum wage and non payment of salaries since the suspension of the last strike.
“The NEC unanimously resolved that the total and indefinite strike action embarked upon by our members on the April 1, 2021 should remain suspended and the Federal Government and State Governments be given four weeks to resolve the pending issues as stated otherwise risk the resumption of the strike,” the NARD said in the communiqué.
Similar incident played out in March when the president embarked on his first medical trip of the year.
Buhari left the country on March 30 after the NARD threatened to down tools. The doctors began their industrial action on April 1 which lasted for about two weeks.