A group of lawyers from various countries known as the International Lawyers Assisting Workers (ILAW) Network, has called on the Nigerian government to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with trade unions in the health sector, including the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
The lawyers, in a letter dated September 24, 2021 and addressed to Nigeria’s ministers of labour and employment, and health, Chris Ngige and Osagie Ehanire respectively, expressed their concerns over the poor treatment of doctors and other health workers in Nigeria.
The group also accused the government of violating the striking doctors’ freedom to associate and justly demand fair treatment and improved welfare.
In the letter, the lawyers said the government has failed to begin the implementation process of all agreements signed with the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), as well as three other affiliates in the health sector..
The letter reads in part; “Beginning in August 2021, thousands of NARD members resumed their strike over long unpaid salaries, hazardous working conditions in hospitals, and insufficient hazard pay.
“Indeed, some doctors have not been paid or paid their full salaries since the COVID-19 pandemic began over a year ago.
“Further, the failure of the government to adopt appropriate safety measures to protect healthcare workers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), has already led to the death of almost two dozen NARD members.”