In order to help the current administration pay the backlog of unpaid payments, medical doctors in the state of Abia terminated their six-month-old industrial action on Friday.
At a news conference in Umuahia, Dr. Isaiah Abali, Chairman of the Abia Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), announced the suspension.
The doctors announced their decision to extend an olive branch to the current administration in a statement co-signed by Abali and Secretary Daniel Ekeleme in an effort to find a way to resolve the problem.
The statement states that in order to stop the recent unfortunate trend, “it is our expectation that the administration would expedite action on payment of the salary as promised.
The present state government led by Dr Alex Otti, at different fora has promised to offset all salary arrears owed doctors in Abia by Dec. 31.
“The promise to pay off these salaries was also emphasised by his Special Adviser on Health in a meeting with NMA Abia State Executive on Friday, June 2.
“The present governor in his inaugural speech through his Special Adviser on Health, has appealed to doctors to suspend the strike and go back to work, while giving him a benefit of doubt to pay off these salaries as promised.”
The chairman disclosed that the Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH), Hospitals Management Board (HMB) and Ministry of Health were being owed 23, 16 and two months salary arrears, respectively.
He said that the immediate past administration of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu did not make any reasonable and acceptable commitment of paying the salaries.