By Asmau Ahmad
Health workers in Nigeria, under the auspices of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA), have suspended their earlier threat to shutdown healthcare services in the country.
The health workers, had earlier threatened to disrupt normal services in hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the country, over Federal Government’s inability to meet their members demands.
JOHESU Acting General National Secretary, Mr Matthew Ajorutu, stated this in communique issued on behalf of JOHESU National Chairman on Tuesday in Abuja.
Ajorutu said the decision to put on hold their planned industrial action was taken in the interest of giving the federal government an ample opportunity to meet their demands.
It would be recall that the union had on September 2, issued the federal government a 15-day ultimatum to meet its demands without which it will embark on nationwide strike at the expiry date.
The union however stepped down the notice of strike that expired mid-night September 17 and issued a fresh notice of 15 days.
Mr Ajorutu said that the decision was reached at the end of an emergency meeting of the union’s expanded National Executive Council (NEC) held on Monday in Abuja.
He also said the decision was unanimously reached by “the Presidents and General Secretaries of affiliate unions and Professional Associations, NEC members of affiliate unions and JOHESU Chairmen and Secretaries at the State and branch levels.
“The leadership of JOHESU reasoned that it was necessary to give the Federal Government a conducive environment to present an update on developments with regards to the major demands of JOHESU.
“This, especially in the area of adjustment of CONHESS as it was done with CONMESS while also showing evidence-based data of the circularisation of the redress of all highlighted service delivery challenges peculiar to members of JOHESU.
“The expanded NEC lauded the Federal Government for the marginal paradigm shift in resolving some of its demands particularly as it relates the on-going payment of outstanding COVID-19 Special Inducement and Hazard Allowance.
“In a bid to avoid an endless circus show, the leadership of JOHESU needs to make it unambiguously clear that the meeting with the Federal Government on Wednesday, October 6, will be the ultimate litmus test to evaluate the seriousness of the Federal Government to resolve once and for all.
“The tortuous subject matter of adjustment of CONHESS which has lingered since January 2, 2014 (almost 8 years) now and also determine the depth of industrial harmony in the Health Sector.
“Finally, NEC-in-Session unanimously adopts a resolution to put on hold the notice of strike action due to expire mid-night today, October 4, and wait for the outcome of the meeting with Federal Government on October 6, before issuing a fresh notice of fifteen days,” the communiqué read in part.