President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the payment of health workers' salaries which was withheld when they embarked on industrial strike action in 2018 and 2021. The Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning is expected to pay the wages of doctors and other health workers which was suspended to implement the no-work-no-pay rule. Thursday by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige after a meeting with President Buhari at Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
According to Ngige, the President’s approval also meant that members of the Joint Health Services Union (JOHESU) that embarked on strike in 2018 would also be paid.
Ngige said, “The President graciously approved that we pay back some funds, some wages, which we did not pay the health workers. First, Section 43 of the Trade Disputes Act says that when a worker goes on strike, especially those on essential services, the employer can also refuse to pay. That is what they call the ‘No-work, no-pay rule.
“But these health sector workers-doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and members of JOHESU- were trying to make sure that we create an equitable environment for them to function and part of it is to make sure that their welfare is settled.
“As a first step, Mr. President has approved and I have the authority and letter directing the Minister of Finance to release the funds of the resident doctors for September and October 2021, which were seized in conformity with the law.”
Ngige disclosed that the President’s approval was based on compassionate grounds and also to encourage doctors and other health workers to continue performing especially with the lingering COVID-19 pandemic.
This was disclosed to State House correspondents on