President Bola Tinubu has exercised the ‘Principle of the Presidential Prerogative of Mercy’ to approve a final waiver of the “No Work, No Pay” order imposed on striking members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD). This decision comes after an extensive period of dialogue and negotiations between the Federal Government and NARD, culminating in the cessation of the Resident Doctors’ strike on August 12, 2023. The strike had commenced on July 26, 2023.
During the 17-day strike, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation was directed to withhold the salaries of NARD members in accordance with the “No Work, No Pay” policy. However, the President’s waiver is contingent on the faithful implementation of the terms agreed upon during the productive discussions between the Resident Doctors and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The exceptional waiver means that the withheld salaries, accrued during the strike, will now be disbursed to NARD members. President Tinubu has stipulated a mandatory requirement, calling for the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to collaborate in securing a Document of Understanding (DoU). This document will affirm that the extraordinary waiver, granted by the President, will mark the final exemption extended to the National Association of Resident Doctors and all other Health Sector Unions.
This decision underscores the government’s commitment to finding a resolution that prioritizes the welfare of healthcare workers while upholding the principles of labour relations and engagement.
This significant development was announced by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity).
The move is expected to ease tensions and contribute to a more constructive atmosphere in the healthcare sector, ensuring the welfare of medical professionals and the continued provision of vital healthcare services to the Nigerian population.