By Chris Nomjov
The executive governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, has appealed to the State Assembly lawmakers, to review their salaries and allowances downward in order to generate more revenue for the development of the state.
“The Deputy Governor and I have signalled our intention in this regard by announcing that we are taking a pay cut of 50 per cent of our salary and allowances until the fiscal situation of the state improves,” el-Rufai said, yesterday, when he paid a visit to the House of Assembly.
“We appeal to all political office holders to embrace this example and attitude of sacrifice,” he said, adding that after paying salaries of civil servants, government was left with only 20 per cent of its revenue.
The former FCT Minister added that, “Once done with paying salaries, allowances, overheads and pensions, the state is unable to do much by way of building infrastructure or providing services. The stark fact is that Kaduna State spends 80 per cent of its total revenues on its public servants and political office holders.
“Can we as elected leaders deliver any significant service or implement progressive actions or attain desirable outcomes for the majority of our people if we devote only 20 per cent of available resources to their needs? Would we not be undermining the very rationale of democracy if, after being elected by majority vote, we uphold a system that solely serves the pleasures of a servant-minority?
“How many good roads or decent hospitals can we build and maintain when we leave so little monies for the things that actually matter? The elections that have thrust the responsibility of governance on us reflect the yearning of our people for leaders that are competent, responsive and willing to offer dedicated service.
“As elected officials, we must view our massive mandates as instructions by our people for unrelenting work on their behalf. The change they voted for is for substantive improvements in the delivery of public goods, a new way of doing things and the prioritisation of their needs.
“As you are aware, the executive branch of this government has been taking briefings from the ministries, departments and agencies that constitute the public service of Kaduna State,” he added.
It would be recalled that, Governor el-Rufai reduced the number of state parastatals from 24 to 13, in yet another signal of his intent on austerity measures, to the better the finances of the state.