Federal Government says the 21-day ultimatum issued by the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, was in direct collision with the MoU it signed on August 21, 2021.

The statement reads: “First is that the  NMA communiqué in Benin, which issued a 21-day ultimatum is at variance with the timeline in Article II, Vii, Vii and X of the MoA.

“Importantly, Article II on payment of the outstanding hazard allowance from the 2020 Medical Residency Training Fund states that the fund will be paid after verification and reconciliation of figures from the BOF. Till now, both NARD/Postgraduate Medical College are yet to submit the validated application for the eligible doctors missed out in 2020 to enable this payment.

“Article Vii on withdrawal of the circular from the Office of the Head of Service removing House and NYSC Doctors from the scheme of service the NMA should submit her position immediately to the FMOH PS (FMOH) for onward transmission to the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation with a view to processing and issuance of clarification circular within two months. The NMA is yet to comply with this.

“Similarly, the technical committee set up in article Vii to tackle the backlog of arrears on GISMIS was given four weeks effective Monday, August 31, 2021 to round off its assignments.  Is this not on collision with the 21-day ultimatum?

“Also, Article X of the MoU also states that the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) should facilitate the withdrawal of suits by MEDSABAM against National Salaries Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC) and the Accountant General of the Federation to ensure the amicable resolution of the issues. The NMA is yet to do this; yet, (it is) issuing a fresh ultimatum.

“It is, therefore, clear that the 21-day ultimatum will neither assist the NMA discharge the role assigned to it in the MoU nor facilitate the faithful implementation of the timeline which the federal government has given every attention.

“The truth is that NMA should play its role as the guardian of its affiliate associations instead of descending into the arena for needless fear of impeachment.

Resolutions by NMA

The NMA had earlier issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government in resolutions reached during its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, held in Benin City.

The statement jointly signed by its President, Prof Innocent AO Ujah and Secretary, Dr. Philips Uche Ekpe, says “After due consideration, NEC put the Federal Government on a 21 days’ notice to fully resolve all the issues contained in the various agreements signed with Affiliate members of the Nigerian Medical Association (including MDCAN, MEDSABAMS, and NARD),”.

According to the doctors, if the Federal Government fails to implement the agreements after the expiration of the 21- day notice, the NMA will summon an emergency delegate meeting.

The NMA added “In the event that the FG fails to implement the agreements after the expiration of the 21 days’ notice, NMA shall summon an emergency delegate meeting to review the progress made on the implementation of the agreements,”

NMA’s ultimatum is the latest in the lingering tussle between the Nigerian government and NARD which has gone on strike since July 31.

Despite a series of meetings between the Federal Government and the striking doctors, no resolution has been reached.

RN