Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has appealed to doctors under the aegis of National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners (NAGGMDP) to suspend their ongoing strike to prevent being forced to invoke the no work, no pay rule of the Trade Dispute Act.
By Rasaq Ibrahim Ado Ekiti
The doctors had on June 30 withdrawn their services, after exhausting 28 days ultimatum issued to the government, in protest against alleged wage disparity, unpaid backlog of allowances, among other matters.
Fayemi gave the appeal on Wednesday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital during a statewide broadcast transmitted by all broadcasting stations domiciled in the state.
The governor called on the striking doctors to suspend their action in the interest of poor citizens who could not afford to seek treatment in private hospitals, noting that while arrears of unpaid allowances can be collected, a life lost cannot be reversed.
‘We can always collect arrears of unpaid allowances, but a life lost cannot be reversed. That is why I should like to call on the doctors to take the patriotic route like other health workers and the organised labour for an immediate end to the needless strike.
“I do not want to be put in a situation where I have to invoke the no work, no pay in Ekiti,” he warned.
Fayemi said he felt more worried that workers, who got promoted five years ago have not enjoyed financial benefits of such elevation, saying it wasn’t his style and intention to deprive people of their legitimate entitlements.
“I am pained in my heart that people who got promoted since about five years ago have not enjoyed the corresponding financial benefits. These are things which give me great pain and which I am absolutely committed to assuaging their feelings”.
Fayemi explained that the government was unable to pay workers’ accumulated benefits due to drastic reduction in the federal allocation.
“Ekiti had consistently received from the Federation Account, an average N3billion in the last six months with a monthly wage bill of N2.8bilion.
“Apart from the fact that our monthly received federal allocation has dropped considerably because of low crude prices and off take, our internally generated revenue has gone worse as many businesses that should pay taxes are themselves under different government supports to stay afloat”.
He, however, commended the leadership of the Joint Associations and Unions of Ekiti State HealthCare Workers and organised labour for suspending their industrial actions, assuring that all demands of workers are being looked into in line with what state resources can accommodate.