President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday said that
because of the importance his administration
attached to the medical and educational sectors, he
was determined to do all within his powers to
resolve all issues that currently lead to labour
disputes and strikes in both sectors.
Resident doctors and members of the Academic
Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are currently on strike.
Jonathan promised to resolve the labour crises while
granting audience to a delegation of the Nigeria
Medical Association led by its National President, Dr.
Osahon Enabulele, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
His promise was contained in a statement issued by
his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr.
Reuben Abati, at the end of the closed-door session.
“I believe that we must manage both (education and
medical) sectors in such a way that nobody engaged
in them will think of going on strike again. We will
continue to proactively evolve measures that will
help us to permanently overcome the problems that
lead to strikes by health and education
professionals,” the President was quoted as saying
at the meeting attended by the Minister of Labour,
Emeka Wogu, Minister of Health, Onyebuchi Chukwu
and other top government officials.
Jonathan reportedly assured the delegation that his
administration would take necessary actions to
ensure that the right conditions were created for
Nigerian medical professionals to stay at home and
avail Nigerians of their skills and expertise instead
of migrating to other countries.
He said his government was determined to correct a
situation where about 25,000 Nigerian medical
consultants were currently practising in the United
States alone as confirmed to him by President
He described as an anomaly a situation
where this huge number of Nigerian medical experts
were abroad and yet the nation could not treat its
sick people in its own hospitals
He said, “There is clearly a missing link somewhere
and we will do everything possible to fix it. We will
continue to work with professional bodies and all
stakeholders to come up with more policies and
actions that will help us overcome current
challenges in our medical sector.
“We will work with the National Assembly to ensure
the quick passage of the National Health Bill. We
will take prompt action to reconstitute the Medical
and Dental Council of Nigeria. We will also consider
recommendations for the establishment of the
Office of the Surgeon-General of the Federation.
“I believe that we must always do what is best for
our country. We will review all the other issues you
have raised and act accordingly. When things are
done properly, issues of welfare and remuneration
in the health sector will disappear.”
The President also promised that the Federal
Government would explore the option of creating a
special intervention fund that would facilitate the
rapid establishment of more centres of medical
excellence across the country.