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Tinubu Approves Quarterly N25,000 Peculiar Allowance for Government Doctors

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ABUJA, Nigeria – The Federal Government has approved a peculiar allowance of N25,000 per quarter for medical doctors and dentists working in federal hospitals, medical centres, and clinics.

The approval was announced in a letter dated July 26, 2023, titled “Accoutrement Allowance for Medical and Dental Doctors in Hospitals, Medical Centres, and Clinics in Federal MDAs.”

The allowance, earmarked to be disbursed from the overhead budget, is slated to take effect from June 1, 2023.

President of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Dr Uche Ojinmah, welcomed the move but emphasized that the NMA is waiting to implement all agreed-upon measures fully.

“We are grateful that the government has taken a step regarding one of its agreements,” Ojinmah said.

The letter detailing the allowance read, “The Federal Government has approved the payment of an accoutrement allowance of N25,000 per quarter to medical and dental doctors in hospitals, medical centres, and clinics in the federal public service.” The communique further instructed that all inquiries related to the circular should be directed to the commission.

Approving the peculiar allowance is a positive step towards improving the welfare of medical and dental practitioners in Nigeria.

This sector has seen a significant exodus of professionals due to remuneration issues.

Nigerian Resident Doctors Issue 2-Week Ultimatum over 200% Salary Increase Demand

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, has pressured the Federal Government, issuing a stern two-week ultimatum to meet demands for a 200% salary increment and address other grievances.

The ultimatum, which began on on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, came after an Extraordinary National Executive Council Meeting, E-NEC, was convened virtually by NARD.

The meeting was focused on evaluating the government’s response to the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed on May 19, 2023.

This MoU came into existence following a cautionary five-day strike action embarked upon by the Association in mid-May.

The communique, made public on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, was jointly signed by NARD President, Orji Innocent, Secretary General, Chikezie Kelechi, and Publicity and Social Secretary, Umar Musa.

In the communique, NARD vociferously called on the government to immediately address overdue salary arrears, including hazard allowances and ‘skipping arrears’ from 2014.

Additionally, the doctors demand immediate implementation of guidelines for replacing clinical staff, arguing that it would mitigate the grave manpower deficit plaguing hospitals nationwide.

“There is no justifiable reason for the government to keep owing our arrears and allowances. We demand the immediate release and the implementation of the guidelines on one-for-one replacement of clinical staff,” the communique stated.

The doctors also admonished the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria to halt the devaluation of membership certificates issued by the West African Postgraduate Medical and Surgical Colleges, arguing that such degradation is not practiced in other West African nations.

Furthermore, NARD insists on the “immediate implementation of a minimum of 200% increment in the CONMESS (Consolidated Medical Salary Structure) salary structure,” citing the economic realities in Nigeria as grounds for the demand.

The communique issued a final warning: “For purposes of emphasis, at the expiration of this further extended ultimatum by 19th of July 2023, if all these demands are not met, we cannot guarantee industrial harmony in the Health Sector nationwide.”

This declaration by NARD adds another layer of complexity to the already strained health sector in Nigeria and raises concerns over the possibility of a crippling strike if the government does not respond promptly and adequately to the demands set forth by the resident doctors.

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