Written by Austine ELEMUE

Bello canvasses 5yrs moratorium on strikes by labour

 Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Muhammad Bello, has pleaded with labour unions to place a 5-year moratorium on strikes and all forms of industrial action.

The minister made the plea in Abuja when the Association of Resident Doctors, FCTA chapter, as well as the FCT Chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, separately paid him a courtesy visit.

He observed that most countries in Europe, Russia and Asia made the same sacrifices that enabled them to lay the building blocks for their strong economic growth.

Bello thanked the medical doctors for their patriotism in not joining the brain drain train in search of greener pastures abroad. 

He stressed that the FCT Administration will continue to support the associations to ensure that they remain in the system as partners in progress and excel their career. 

He gave assurances that the administration will continue payments that have already been commenced with budgetary provisions, adding that ongoing hospital projects will be completed to cope with the increasing demand on health facilities in the city. 

Bello revealed that FCT Administration has reached some significant milestones in resolving many of the issues affecting health professionals that have been lingering for over 10 years, while calling for patience and understanding as government tackles some of the more complex issues of funding. 

He, however, called for more private sector participation in healthcare in the FCT, saying the government alone cannot provide the required bed spaces and all the needed specialties. 

“I appeal to you and your members to continue to stay within the system because I believe we have a great country. If we all look at our personal needs and requirement, we will say yes, we want greener pastures. But if we all go for greener pastures, who is going to develop this country? 

“For us to really develop this country, we have to sit down and agree to work and sacrifice and we will really truly put our country in the right footing. Let’s stay and salvage this country. If we are able to do all that, we will be a shining example for other countries of the world,” Bello said 

Earlier in his presentation, president, Association of Resident Doctors, FCTA chapter, Dr Michael Olanrewaju, appreciated the minister for taking the bull by the horn and approving the payment of 28 days allowance in addition to adequately equipping the hospitals and approving the skipping allowance for the doctors. 

He however lamented that doctors that have been trained to high degree of proficiency in different medical discipline in the FCTA were now leaving the country in droves while those left behind were also spoiling to hop unto the bandwagon. 

In a related development, the chairman, Nigeria Medical Association, NMA, FCT Chapter, Dr. Ekpe  Phillips, has commended the FCTA for sustaining the free antenatal care services in sub-urban and rural communities which he said has saved lives of mothers and babies of all Nigerians who ordinarily cannot afford quality healthcare that FCT provides. 

Philips appealed for more manpower to cope with the excessive inflow of patients as a result of increasing migration of people from other states to the territory. 

 

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