By Asma’u Ahmad
The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said that the demand by striking Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) for salary parity with medical doctors was neither practicable nor acceptable.
The minister made this known in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja by Mr Olajide Oshundun, Assistant Director of Information of the ministry.
The statement was a reaction by the ministry to the advertorial by JOHESU in some national dailies.
The minister, however, said an offer has been made to adjust the salaries and wages of JOHESU members by the Federal Government.
“As a responsible government will do everything within our power to bring the ongoing strike action to an end as quickly as possible.
“Indeed, the federal government has put machinery in place to ensure that the strike is called off by meeting with JOHESU officials on several occasions.
“ But what JOHESU is asking for is parity with medical doctors which is neither practicable nor acceptable to the federal government,’’ the minister said.
Adewole described the current strike action by the unions as unfortunate, noting that“the health and wellbeing of many Nigerians have been affected.”
The minister reiterated that there was no agreement between the federal government and JOHESU prior to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He added that what JOHESU brandished as 2014 agreement were minutes of meetings they had with organs of government.
He explained that in September 2017, JOHESU presented 15-point demand and the Federal Government has implemented 14 while the last demand was still been attended to.
Adewole therefore appealed to the unions to immediately call off the strike and allow for the conclusion of the assignment given to a high powered body on the 2017 agreement.
“The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will not renege on any agreement entered into with any labour organisation including JOHESU,’’ he said
The minister also appealed to the general public to bear with the government as efforts were on to end the ongoing strike as quickly as possible.