Nigerian doctors begin indefinite nationwide strike over pay

Nigerian resident doctors employed in government hospitals commenced a total and “indefinite” strike on Wednesday to protest pay and welfare issues.

The strike began amid mounting pressure on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s government over his economic reforms, which have garnered praise from investors but have also led to significant increases in fuel prices and the cost of living for Nigerians.

The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) initiated the strike after providing a two-week notice, citing the government’s failure to meet their demands as the reason for their industrial action.

Following an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) on Tuesday, the NARD announced its decision to commence an immediate strike.

“Having considered all the numerous ultimatums, appeals, and engagements with government, NEC unanimously resolved to proceed on a total and indefinite strike commencing from 12:00 am on Wednesday,” it said.

The association stated that the strike would have an impact on all government-owned hospitals across Africa’s most populous nation.

The work stoppage would only be terminated by the association when its demands were met, which encompassed payment of salary arrears, hazard allowance, and the employment and replacement of doctors who have departed the country to work overseas.

NARD is also advocating for an enhancement of facilities in state-run hospitals across the country.

Wednesday’s strike marks the latest in a series of industrial actions by the association in recent months. Previous strikes on similar issues were halted following the intervention of prominent Nigerians, including leaders from parliament.

The NARD represents resident doctors at government-owned hospitals in Nigeria, encompassing approximately one-third of doctors working in the country.

The doctors’ strike comes at a time when Nigerians are already grappling with more than 22 percent inflation, a threefold increase in petrol prices, and the consequences of a significant devaluation of the national currency, the naira.

President Tinubu, who has been in power for two months, has recently terminated a fuel subsidy that maintained artificially low petrol prices and has also floated the naira to encourage foreign investment.

Scroll to Top