Medical doctors in Abia State, on Friday, suspended their six months old industrial action to enable the present administration to offset the backlog of unpaid salaries.
Dr Isaiah Abali, the Chairman of the Abia Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, announced the suspension at a news briefing in Umuahia.
In a communique jointly signed by Abali and Secretary, Daniel Ekeleme, the doctors said they decided to extend an olive branch to the current government to look for a way of resolving the crisis.
According to the communique, “it is our expectation that the government would expedite action on payment of the salaries as promised to avert the ugly trend of the recent.
“The present state government led by Dr Alex Otti, at different fora has promised to offset all salary arrears owed doctors in Abia by Dec. 31.
“The promise to pay off these salaries was also emphasised by his Special Adviser on Health in a meeting with NMA Abia State Executive on Friday, June 2.
“The present governor in his inaugural speech through his Special Adviser on Health, has appealed to doctors to suspend the strike and go back to work, while giving him a benefit of doubt to pay off these salaries as promised.”
The chairman disclosed that the Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH), Hospitals Management Board (HMB) and Ministry of Health were being owed 23, 16 and two months salary arrears, respectively.
He said that the immediate past administration of Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu did not make any reasonable and acceptable commitment of paying the salaries.