OrderPaperToday – The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Buhari to re-direct and use part of the N42bn budgeted to renovate the National Assembly complex to pay doctors’ salary arrears and other entitlements.

The group said such move will help to urgently avert an impending action by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) billed to start on Thursday 1st April, 2021.

SERAP, a non-profit, legal and advocacy organisation, stressed the need for the Federal Government to proffer solution to the plight of resident doctors by paying salary arrears and indemnifying doctors who died of COVID-19 as this would help to avert the strike and ensure the protection of Nigerians and their rights to health and life.

It noted that about 3,824 Nigerian doctors have reportedly been exposed to COVID-19; 1,600 have been infected while 17 have died; and that the insurance claims of the deceased doctors have yet to be paid, while their families have allegedly been abandoned.

The NGO further revealed that the hazard allowance given to doctors last year was a paltry N5,000 each, while allowances of doctors working in the isolation centres in most states have not been paid.

The NARD have threatened to commence an ‘indefinite strike’ on Thursday if the Nigerian government fails to meet their demands which include payment of all salaries arrears, review of the current hazard allowance to 50 per cent of consolidated basic salaries of all health workers and payment of the outstanding COVID-19 inducement allowance especially in state-owned tertiary institutions.

 

Reporting by Chinonso Kenneth

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