Government will do everything to avert NMA strike- Kogi Governor
Kogi State Governor, Alh. Yahaya Bello has assured the people of the state that his administration will "do everything within the legal arc to avert industrial action by members of the Nigerian Medical Association , Kogi State Chapter".
Speaking through his Director General on Media and Strategy, Kingsley Fanwo, the Governor said he will stop at nothing to protect the right of the Kogi citizens to quality healthcare.
"NMA has intimated government of its readiness to go on strike over some issues that bothers on the recently concluded staff verification exercise. But before Government could call for a round table dialogue to listen to their grievances, NMA made their intention public to create an atmosphere of panic.
"The Staff Verification Exercise received the backing of labor. NMA was represented in the exercise and they signed the report, which indicated acceptance by the umbrella body for Medical Doctors in the State. The wisdom behind the inclusion of NMA representative in the screening was to give expert advice and lead the Committee to make informed decisions. For NMA to turn around to condemn the report is a betrayal of agreement and an attempt to condemn the home they joined hands with government in building.
"The decision to unnecessarily punish the Kogi people by going on strike is unfortunate and will be resisted by government. In an era of recession, it is an economic sin against the people to pay workers for doing nothing. We will explore legal and administrative avenues to stop the ill-fated strike.
"As we place an eye on the window for negotiations and diplomatic settlement; this government will place its other eye on the ongoing recruitment process going on in the health sector to bridge any gap which may tend to endanger the healthcare of our people".
The Governor urged NMA not to declare war on the state, saying their primary responsibility is to save lives and ensure the healthcare of the people of the state.
"Our doors are always open. We will always listen to the unionists. We believe in inclusiveness but we will not hesitate to take drastic decisions that will help the people of our dear state".
The Governor thanked members of the Nigerian Medical Association for their patience and cooperation with his administration, urging them to seize the cordial relationship between them and the government to explore negotiation as a peaceful means of resolving industrial disputes. He said his administration will continue to work with the doctors to achieve his goals on healthcare for the people of Kogi State.
Fanwo Kingsley Olorunfemi
DG Media and Publicity to the Governor
Kogi State Government House
Tel: 234 8163376331