President Tinubu meets striking health unions, calls for immediate end to strike

President Tinubu meets striking health unions, calls for immediate end to strike

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has called on the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to end their strike and return to work after he met with the leadership of the body on Monday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The unions have been on strike for more than a week, pulling its members from public hospitals across the country.

JOHESU, an affiliate of the Nigeria Labour Congress, has been demanding for immediate payment of omissions and shortfalls in the COVID-19 hazard allowances of affected health workers in federal health institutions.

The body also sought recognition of health workers in non-core hospital facilities in payment of the hazard allowance.

JOHESU further demanded speedy implementation of an increase in the retirement age from 60 to 65 years, and 70 years for consultants in the health professions.

At the meeting, however, the newly sworn-in Nigerian leader appealed to the members of the body to return to work as soon as possible.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

“The health sector is one sector with a commitment to humanity. We will resolve all the problems. Trust must be enshrined in all discussions. I promise you we will accelerate this. We will resolve all the issues. Please go back to work,” President Tinubu appealed to the union leaders

In his part, the acting Chairman of the Union, Dr. Obinna Ogbonna, pleaded with President Tinubu to pay attention to the healthcare delivery system in Nigeria through adequate investment in healthcare infrastructure and better welfare for workers in the sector in order to prevent brain drain.

Dr. Obinna expressed the readiness of the unions to resume duties, saying: “Mr. President, now that we have assurance from the top, we are encouraged to go back and talk to our members with a view to going back to work.”

Mr. Olumide Akintayo, a member of the Union’s Executive Council who came with the Acting Chairman to the meeting, encouraged the federal government to always respond to Labour concerns before they turn into full-fledged industrial crises.

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