The Ekiti State government has said that it cannot meet the demands of its striking doctors due to the global economic challenges occasioned by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, dwindling monthly federal allocation and low Internally-Generated Revenue (IGR).
The doctors, under the aegis of the Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP), have been on strike in the last three weeks over sundry demands on the welfare of its members from the state.
A statement by the state’s Commissioner for Information and Value Orientation, Muyiwa Olumilua, said the statements of income and expenditure of the state since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic were made available to the NAGGMDP as proof of the state’s financial position.
“It is unfortunate that despite the numerous efforts of the state government to support the health sector, especially during this pandemic and its attendant economic effects, members of this association have insisted on the strike.
“Government empathised with the concerns of the association but explained that the state could not meet all their demands,” he said.
Olumilua said the timing of this strike in the middle of a global public health crisis when the citizens need their services the most borders on insensitivity, urging all well-meaning Nigerians to appeal to the striking doctors not to allow themselves to be pawns in the hands of political detractors.