Nigerian Army Doctors Begin Strike
Latest report indicates that personnel of the Nigerian Army Medical Corps, one of the arms in the service, has embarked on strike action to protest the alleged non-payment of their salaries.
According to an article published by Thisday online, the striking doctors embarked on the industrial action on Monday, 8 September, 2014, after their two-week strike notice was allegedly disregarded by the Nigerian military authorities, who refused to pay their salaries since their appointments six months ago.
It was gathered that striking doctors were aggrieved that their salaries were not being paid after they were given their appointment letters by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) since February of this year.
“This is to notify you that we the house officers and interns employed by the Ministry of Defence, Nigeria having; considered the refusal of the ministry to pay up salaries since our appointments six months ago.
“Their insensitivity to our plights and various pleas to resolve this salary issue amicably; refusal to disburse pay slip before payment of salaries and inability to meet up with the two weeks deadline of payment given to us by them,” the strike notice read in part.
Meanwhile, one of the medical personnel, who did not want his name published, told newsmen that those on strike are the house officers and interns who have been denied of their salaries and yet expected to function optimally.
The source informed that non-payment of salary to them had been a recurring problem, but they have resolved not to return to work unless they are paid all their entitlements.
Investigation revealed that the Nigerian Army has already commenced recruiting interested candidates to fill the vacancy in the medical corps as well as other arms.
According to the recruitment exercise which was made public last week, it called on the public and all interested qualified candidates for the 72 Regular Recruits Intake for both trades and non-tradesmen and women from 8 September to 18 October, 2014.
A memo signed by the Chief of Administration of the army, Major General G.A. Wahab, it stated that interested candidates should apply online at the recruitment portal www.narecruitment.org, using a recruitment e-voucher purchased with a bank card issued by any Nigerian bank.
The Director of Army Public Relations (DAPRI), Brigadier General Laleye Jide, could not be reached to comment on the matter as he did not pick his calls, neither did he reply to the text message sent to him.
The Nigerian military has been complaining of poor funding recently. According to the army authorities, poor funding has resulted to inadequate weapons for personnel to fight the terrorist group, Boko Haram.
It would be recalled that on August 20, 2014, BBC reported that Nigerian soldiers stated that they were no longer willing to risk their lives in the fight against Boko Haram until they are provided with better and more sophisticated equipments.
A member representing (PDP, Jigawa), who is also the Chairman; House Committee on Defence, Honorable Bashir Adamu, last Thursday revealed that the sum of N300 billion has been given to the Nigerian Army.
According to Adamu, the money was a paltry payment out of the N1 trillion stated in the budget.
The Nigerian Army is the largest component of Nigerian Armed Forces, with 130,000 active frontline personnel and 32,000 reserve personnel.
The original elements of the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF) in Nigeria were formed in 1900
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