The Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, says the Speaker, Dr Tajudeen Abbas, will again meet with relevant stakeholders on Thursday over the crisis between the Federal Government and the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
Professor Ihunvbere, who made this known at the plenary, expressed displeasure with NARD’s decision to continue with its planned strike despite the intervention by the Parliament.
“The Speaker had a meeting with the NARD and some stakeholders (on Monday) on this issue and pleaded with the union to hold on, on the strike, and give the House two weeks to resolve the matter; and the two weeks were to include this visit to Mr President to bring him up to date on the relevant issues. He also set up an ad hoc committee which is being chaired by my humble self to hold dialogues with the critical stakeholders.
“I want to inform (the House and the public) that Mr Speaker has since met with Mr President and a significant progress in terms of addressing the needs of the doctors that are now on strike. Second, we have scheduled a meeting for tomorrow with all the stakeholders, including members of the NARD. So, discussions are on.
He stated that the former chairman of the House Committee on Healthcare Services Dr. Tanko Sununu has been in touch with the NARD President, adding that they are going to be at the meeting along with other stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, the Accountant-General of the Federation; Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning as well as the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
The Deputy Speaker Mr Benjamin Kalu who presided over the session, observed that the fact that the highest level of the parliament has started engaging with the doctors shows how important their demands are.