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House Pleads With Health Workers Over Proposed Strike

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ABUJA, March 19, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives, Tuesday, urged the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to suspend its proposed nationwide strike in the interest of the people.

It also mandated the House Committee on Health to engage all the stakeholders in the proposed nationwide strike for discussions and ensure that the strike does not take place.

The House also urged the Federal Government to implement, as a matter of urgency, the 2012 collective agreement entered into with the Union.

This resolution was sequel to a motion moved by Hon. Ndudi Elumelu (PDP-Delta) which was adopted without debate.

Elumelu said that any issue affecting the health sector must be addressed with high degree of urgency to avert a breakdown of health services.

He said that previous strikes in the sector had recorded huge casualties and led to Nigerians incurring huge expenses by accessing medical attention in private hospitals.

"If urgent steps are not taken by this House to avert the looming industrial unrest, the health service delivery system in the country would be terribly affected, " he said.

It will be recalled that workers in the Federal Government hospitals and other health institutions across the country had on March 18, issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to implement the 2012 collective agreement it entered with the Unions.

In another development, the House also urged the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS ) to stop further remittance of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax to the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory ( MFCT).

It also mandated the Finance Committee to establish the actual amount that had been remitted to date and who authorised the remittance.

The committee is expected to report back to the House within one week.

This resolution followed a motion moved by Hon. Babangida Ibrahim (CPC-Katsina) which was unanimously adopted without debate.

According to Ibrahim, the only relevant tax authority responsible for the collection of PAYE within the FCT was the FIRS as provided by the Personal Income Tax Act ( PITA) 1993 as amended.