Abuja doctors threaten to embark on strike

File photo of Resident Doctors
File photo of Resident Doctors

The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Abuja chapter, says it will commence an indefinite strike on August 25.

The union made this known in a statement jointly signed by its president, Michael Olarewaju and secretary, Roland Aigbovo, on Wednesday in Abuja.

It said the impending strike follows the failure of FCT Administration to repay “obnoxious” tax deduction from July salaries of staff, among other demands.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the association had earlier condemned the tax deduction of N78, 000 from each of its members’ July salaries.

It said the current deduction was against the initial N36, 000 deductions imposed on the doctors.

The union noted that it had on Aug. 1, 2018 issued a-21day ultimatum effective from Aug. 3 to FCT administration, calling on the Minister, Muhammad Bello, to address the issue.

They listed other demands to include payment of first 28 days allowance of members effective from 2011, as calculated without further delay.

Other demands, according to them, include appropriate placement and payment of arrears to members who were successful in the 2016 promotion exercise.

“We totally reject the obnoxious and double taxation imposed on our members by FCTA management, which negates all scientific reasoning and Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the union said.

“The appropriate tax should be done using the Joint Tax Board/Personal Income Tax Act template (PITA) and all excess deduction paid back.

“We will be compelled to proceed on an indefinite strike for failure of the FCT administration to meet our demands on or before the expiration of the ultimatum which is Aug. 24,’’ they said.

Mr Olarewaju said, “Based on our investigations at the Health and Human Resources Service Secretariat, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) and FCT Inland Revenue Services (FCTIRS).

“It was revealed that the obnoxious tax didn’t follow the PITA template or other conventional means of taxation.

“We have earlier written the FCT Minister on the myriad of problems faced daily by our members regarding conditions of work and services delivery in FCTA.

“This is largely due to poor remuneration in comparison with our contemporaries in other health institutions and Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) both in the territory and other parts of the federation.

“It is pertinent to say that a motivated workforce always give rise to an on improved work done and with regard to job satisfaction our members are in pathetic state,’’ he decried.

(NAN)

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