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MDCAN issues 3-day warning strike notice over retirement letters issued to members

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Last Updated on August 30, 2023 by Fellow Press

The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Chapter, says its members will commence a three-day warning strike over the retirement letters issued to untenured doctors on Grade Level (GL) 17.

The doctors in a letter to the Minister of FCTA, Mr Nyesom Wike, said that the strike would begin from midnight on Wednesday.

The letter is titled: ‘Notice of a Three-Day Warning Strike and a Call for Immediate Withdrawal of Retirement Letters of Untenured Doctors on GL 17’ and signed by MDCAN Chairman, FCTA, Dr Emmanuel Musa and the Secretary-General Dr Uko Ekaette.

The letter which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday night in Abuja, said that the decision was reached at an emergency congress meeting.

“This decision was arrived at after failure of efforts of amicable resolution following engagement with the office of FCTA Establishment and the Permanent Secretary prior to the release of the retirement letter.

“Permit us sir to request for your prompt intervention in the misinterpretation and misapplication of circular on revised Public Services Rules (PSR) (2021 Section: 020909), policy tenure).

“It is directly applicable only to tenured office holders to unjustifiably retire our members who hold untenured position of medical consultants on GL17.

“Contrary to the circular emanating from the office of the Head of Service on the same matter, the circular Ref no: FCTA/HRM/S141145/vol 1 of Aug. 9, 2023 endorsed by the permanent secretary, FCTA has attempted to include medical consultants on GL17 to tenured positions.

“We would like to state categorically herein that medical consultant position on GL 17 has never been regarded as a tenured position. In support of this, there was a precedence of an exception of Medical Consultants in clinical service.”

The doctors explained that the FCTA was the only administration/ministry that has misinterpreted, misapplied and implemented the circular in Nigeria.

“Hope you are not being sabotaged Sir and assuredly if this is allowed to sail the entire health care system will collapse.

“We hereby call for an immediate withdrawal of the compulsory retirement letters served our members who have not attained their retirement by year of service or age.

“We look forward to your immediate and urgent intervention to resolve this burning issue”, the letter said.

NAN reports that a memo had been sent from the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) on July 27 Ministries, Departments and Agencies to ensure compliance with the newly revised rules.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation Mrs Folashade Yemi-Esan, had in the addressed to all permanent secretaries, Accountant-General of the Federation, Auditor-General of the Federation and heads of extra-ministerial departments, ordered strict compliance with the newly revised Public Service Rules, 2021.

Part of the rules require that directors in the civil service, who have spent eight years should proceed on immediate retirement.

“Following the approval of the revised Public Service Rules by the Federal Executive Council on September 27, 2021, and its subsequent unveiling at the public service lecture during the commemoration of the 2023 Civil Service Week, the PSR has become operational with effect from July 27, 2023.

“You are, therefore, to ensure full compliance with all provisions of the Public Service Rules, 2021. Please, ensure strict compliance with the contents of this circular”, the memo had said.

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Gunmen kidnap another Catholic priest in Anambra

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Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Anambra State based Catholic priest, Reverend Father Christian Ike, has been abducted by assailants.

The clergyman was reportedly taken away by the assailants on Sunday, along Amagu junction, Ndiokpaleke, in Ajali community in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State.

An eyewitness in the area, who narrated the incident our correspondents, said the priest was returning alongside two other persons from an early morning Mass at St. Michael Catholic Church when the assailants double-crossed his vehicle.

The source said unknown gunmen kidnapped the priest and took some personal belongings in the vehicle, but the reason for the incident has yet to be ascertained.

The eyewitness said, “The priest and two other persons were returning from St. Micheal Catholic Church, where they attended morning service.

“On getting to Amagu Junction, their vehicle was double-crossed by armed men operating in three vehicles, while the other two other persons escaped the scene, the criminals took away the priest and some personal belongings of the occupants in the vehicle.”

Confirming the incident, the Anambra State police spokesman, SP Tochukwu Ikenga, said the command had deployed its intelligence and operational assets for the priest’s possible rescue unhurt.

He added that further development will be communicated as it unfolds.

Ikenga said, “Anambra State Police Command received the information of the abduction of Rev Father Christian Ike and has deployed its intelligence and operational assets of the Command for possible rescue unhurt.

“Eyewitness account revealed by 10:30 am on 16/6/2024, the priest and two others were returning from St. Micheal Catholic Church Ndiokpaleke where they attended morning service, along Amagu Junction, they were double-crossed by armed men operating in three vehicles, while the other two escaped the scene, the criminals took away the priest and some personal belongings of the occupants in the vehicle.

“To this end, the Command has activated its intelligence and operational assets for possible arrest of the assailants and rescue unhurt of the priest.”

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Minimum wage: Archbishop urges compromise

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Last Updated on June 9, 2024 by Fellow Press

Archbishop Joseph Ojo, General Overseer of the Calvary Kingdom Church, Okokomaiko, Lagos State, on Saturday urged labour leaders and the Federal Government to reach a compromise as regards a new minimum wage.

Ojo made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

The archbishop described wage negotiation as a social contract that should be approached with empathy by parties.

According to him compromise is needed in the matter to save the country from anxiety.

“They should consider the fact that the unemployed are much more than the few that are in government employment.

“The federal, states and local governments only employed some workers.

“Others are in firms owned and operated by individuals that might not be able to pay higher wage.

“The higher they push it, the higher the inability of the unemployed to survive, because firms, which struggle to pay staff, may not talk of hiring new ones,” he said.

The cleric said that lack of employment might result in increase in crimes.

“There are private sector employers, who cannot cope with what the federal or states will offer,” he added.

The cleric said that high wage bill might compel private schools to increase school bills to meet up with overhead costs.

“Some parents will not meet up, and their children would be forced to drop out of school,” he said.

He also advised governments to consider subsisting social-economic variables, such as cost of food items, transport and medical bills, and offer a sustainable minimum wage.

“The parties ought to put all these into consideration to achieve progress in their negotiation,” the cleric said.

NAN reports that the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress are now demanding N250, 000 as a new minimum wage.

The Federal Government has offered to pay N62,000.

Negotiations are ongoing.

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