Salihu Lukman, director-general of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), says Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, and Osaige Ehanire, minister of health, should wake up to their responsibilities.
Lukman said this in reaction to the ongoing strike by doctors across the country.
Last week, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) declared an indefinitestrike over irregular payment of salaries among other issues.
In a statement on Sunday, Lukman said it is “frustrating” when party members who are ministers cannot prevent strikes from happening.
“It is quite frustrating, when political appointees, such as Ministers of Labour and Health are unable to proactively pre-empt strikes of health workers in the country. As loyal members of APC, being the governing party, we must appeal to our Ministers of Labour and Health to wake up to their responsibility and end this political embarrassment coming with huge cost to lives to citizens,” he said.
“It is scandalous that the agitation by the leaders of NARD is not about qualitatively reviewing those conditions that goes beyond cheap naira and kobo negotiations.”
“Eventually, no doubt, everything comes down to naira and kobo. But there are provisions with very high monetary value, which may not cost a dime to the government.
“For instance, assuming that being a resident doctor or a health worker in a state government establishment qualifies one to be on priority list for land allocation for the purpose of building personal accommodation.
“Also, assuming state governments can facilitate financing arrangements with banks to NARD and other organisations of health workers for their members with valid Certificate of Occupancy to build personal accommodations. There are so many non-monetary incentives, which have very high monetary value to the beneficiaries that can be arranged.
“Sadly, both governments and leaders of workers organisations in these essential service sectors are locked in the limited negotiations of monetary awards, which at best whittled down the profile of a very special category of an important sector such as health, which is required to provide uninterrupted services dearly needed by all citizens for our survival and wellbeing.”
Lukman said the government should be “creative” in finding solutions to issues confronting it.

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