The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has lambasted the Director-General of All Progressives Congress Governors’ Forum Director-General, Salihu Lukman for saying his lethargic responses and his health counterpart, culminated in the strikes in the Health Sector and consequent loss of lives.
The Minister who expressed disappointment with the APC Governors Forum DG’s utterances in a statement described the statement credited to Salihu Lukman in the media as “nauseating, malicious and nonsensical.”
Chris Ngige also labeled Lukman’s comment as a display of grave ignorance and crass emptiness on the ongoing strike of the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, and the standoff between Kaduna State Government and organised labour.
.Ngige said Lukman must have spoken either out of ignorance or malicious intent to smear the two respected members of the Federal cabinet who had put in sleepless nights, engaging in meaningful negotiations, to ensure industrial peace in the Health Sector at this critical period of COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the statement, it is shocking and outrageously incredible for somebody in his right mind to say that the two Ministers, who are both experienced medical doctors, were unable to proactively pre-empt strikes in the Health Sector.
Ngige noted there was no strike notice from NARD in accordance with the Trade Disputes Act as there was nothing like resumption of a suspended strike, noting that it is in order to invoke Section 43 of the Act on No Work no pay.
Ngige further maintained that as essential workers, the resident doctors are not expected to go on strike without giving at least 15 days’ notice to the Minister.
The Labour minister stressed that Lukman has therefore displayed his shallow knowledge of labour dispute resolution and management by alleging that Ministers Ngige and Ehanire could have proactively stopped the strike and even went further to castigate Ngige over the Kaduna State Government/NLC dispute, which led to a four-day strike.
On the NLC/KADUNA Government face-off, Ngige said Apart from signing a Memorandum of Understanding in the case, everything brought by NLC against the Kaduna State Government was earlier forwarded to Governor El-Rufai.