By Linus Oota, Lafia, Moses Emorinken, Abuja, Chris Njoku, Owerri, and Rasaq Ibrahim, Ado-Ekiti

Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has disclosed that Imo, Ondo, Ekiti and Gombe state governments owed its members working in their states  20-month salaries.

President of the association, Dr Dare Godiya Ishaya stated this yesterday in Lafia in a communique issued at the end of the July National Executive Council (NEC) meeting and scientific conference of NARD held in Lafia from 25th-30th July 2022.

The communique was signed by the  President of NARD, Dr Dare Godiya Ishaya, the Secretary, Dr Sulieman Abiodun Ismail and the Publicity and Social Secretary, Dr Alfa Yusuf with the theme “medical workplace hazards: defending a nation under a shade of arrows”.

According to the communique “NEC were displeased over the condition of our members under different state governments’ employ, namely Imo, Ondo,Ekiti and Gombe owed 10, 5, 3 and 2 months salaries respectively.”

The association calls on the Federal Government, the Nigerian Governors Forum, stakeholders, and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the governors of Imo (10 months) Ondo (5 months), Ekiti (3 months) and Gombe (2 months) states to urgently pay arrears of salaries and allowances owed members as this is becoming embarrassing.

The President Association of Resident Doctors, Imo State University Teaching Hospital (ARD), Dr. Edward Chima, has however said the state government’s debts to its members are beyond the 10 months stated by the national body. “It is not only 10 months salaries. Imo is one of the few states that are yet to start paying CONA to the doctors on its employ, especially in the teaching hospital, Imo State has not domesticated the medical training fund, Imo State has not paid the Covid allowance. Imo and Abia are worse states when it comes to the affairs of resident Doctors.”

He told our correspondent that the association had been making efforts to reach the state governor, Hope Uzodimma, through the Chief Medical Director with the aim to dialogue with him on the issue to no avail.

“We still want to exhaust the whole mechanism of dialogue in reaching out to the governor after that if we don’t get anything positive in response to our demand, we will have no option than to embark on strike.”

Also reacting to the development, the National Association of Residents Doctor (NARD) in Ekiti State said the state’s government owed its members in the state’s public hospitals three months salaries arrears and thirteen deductions.

The NARD Chairman Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Dr Olaniyi Olaoye stated this yesterday in a  chat with our reporter, expressing displeasure over the poor treatment of doctors in the state.

Olaoye painted the gloomy picture of the doctors’ situation in the state  as being the worst in the nation, alleging the state government of the issue of their welfare with “utter insensitivity”.

Olaoye added that the resident doctors were in distress as a result of non-payment of three months salaries arrears, Covid-19 allowance, deductions from salaries and other entitlements.

“Our situation here in Ekiti is pathetic. We are being owed three months salaries arrears, 13 months deductions and non- implementation of the minimum wage.

Now there is something called National Residency Training Fund (NRTF) which is to assist the doctors that are training in residency which is being paid at federal level. And some states like Nassarawa, Venue, Delta and Lagos state have been paying it. But we have not received that. Even the Covid-19 allowance we didn’t receive any.

“So our problem is even worse and all these are forcing many of our members leaving  to federal institutions and also traveling out because of this disparity”.

He appealed to the state government to offset the outstanding salaries arrears, deductions, commence payment of the minimum wage and the NRTF to avert exodus of doctors to federal institutions.

When asked whether residents doctors in Ekiti would join the proposed industrial action being mulled by the national body, Olaoye said” we wouldn’t hesitate to join because we are worst hit.”