The federal government has urged resident doctors to shelve their threat of embarking on a nationwide strike on Thursday.

Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment, made the appeal at a meeting with the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) on Wednesday in Abuja.

 

Ngige said the majority of the welfare issues in contention were almost resolved before the planned strike action was announced.

 

“We are here because we have started solving your issues. We put up proposals with given timelines on how to deal with them,” he said.

“We will look at those proposals with you, fix adequate timelines so that the people on government side will be implementing and marking them as they execute them.

 

“I have held informal meetings with the finance ministry and they told me they have started solving some of the problems.

 

“The two committees in the national assembly have also tried to get you and your employers on same page.

“We have to intervene to ensure industrial peace in the health industry. We are also in a very bad period health wise the world over, and Nigeria is not an exception.

 

“So, we have to think about the generality of Nigerians. Because right now, 80 percent of Nigerians are our patients because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“So we have to look at the issues that way and see how we can get the best out of this situation.”

 

He called on the resident doctors to consider the plight of the 80 percent of the citizenry in need of healthcare services, should they withdraw their services.