The effective working of a nation can be likened to the working of the human body which is made up of various component parts which although different works independently but also in tandem with one another as they are closed connected to one source. The effective working of these various parts is greatly facilitated by the proper nourishing of these component units as any irregularities in one component part will inevitably affects the working of another. In the same vein,the Nigerian society is made up of various sectors which must be all accorded a fair chunk of the nation’s resources to help them thrive in the dispensation of their duties as stipulated. The out right denial of the resources meant for any of this sectors will ultimately disrupt their functions which will in the long run have various effect on other sectors of the Nigerian nation.
This is the case with the Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of the incumbent Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari and the Residents doctors in the nation. In the lastest development with the on-going tension with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Residents doctors in the nation, the National Industrial Court in Abuja on Wednesday 16th of September 2020 instructed the members of the National Association of Resident Doctors to immediately end their industrial action and resume back to work without further delay.
It would be recalled that the Residents Doctors in Nigeria has on the 7th of September 2020 started an industrial strike action to protest the unwillingness of the federal government of Nigeria to accede to their request which was earlier made in the month of June 2020. The Residents Doctors had demanded that the federal government of Nigeria ensure that they provide them a better working condition with the provision of the required PPEs for their work and also the payment of their outstanding allowances and salaries.
It must be noted that the role of the residents doctors in the nation cannot be undermined as a result of their importance and contribution to the nation’s healthcare sector. While they have done their duty by playing their roles well especially in the light of the outbreak of the novel virus Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria as well as across the world, the recent action taken by the federal government to forcefully order them back to work is not right.
The necessary and right course of action should not be one which involves the use of force to draw them back to work but instead it should involve a process of dialogue between both parties which involves respect for the Residents doctors. Apparently with a deeper scrutiny of the situation there’s already a trust gap between the two parties and this because the federal government has failed several times to fulfill it’s promise to the Residents doctors in Nigeria hence the need for the industrial action.
The Residents doctors before the strike had played an huge role in the containing and treatment of the Covid-19 patients without being forced to carry out their responsibilities and also in the same light the federal government must also ensure that it is not forced to respond to the basic right of the members of the residents doctors in Nigeria.
Using the court against them will only go a long way in painting the picture of a government who is not sensitive towards the welfare of its workers but is just focussed on using them as a means to an end.
The re-opening of the nation’s airspace for international flights has seen to the immigration of plenty Nigerian medical practitioners and this is as a result of the harsh working conditions the are made to face in Nigeria. Many of them has resolved to leaving the nation for climes where workers have value for their work.
This is not a good time for the federal government of Nigeria to lose its workers especially it’s health personnels in the nation. The outbreak of covid-19 pandemic gas shown the world the immense importance and significance of the medical practitioners in Nigeria and reasons why they should be treated well with dignity and respect.
The federal government of Nigeria must as a matter of fact looks towards other alternatives to resolving their differences with the striking residents doctors instead of using court orders against them.
For the effective performance of the nation’s healthcare sector,the federal government of Nigeria must ensure that it treats it’s health and Medical practitioners well by providing them with the right and necessary facilities and equipments to ensure that they improve in their services.
By Marcus Amudipe