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‘Kaduna Government has no choice but to reduce the size of the public service’ – El Rufai

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Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai says his administration is laying off public servants in the state because of dwindling financial resources and higher wage bills the government cannot sustain.

In a statement signed by his spokesman, Muyiwa Adekeye, Governor El-Rufai said that the government was not elected just to pay salaries of public servants alone, but to also develop the state by building schools, hospitals, upgrading infrastructure and making the state more secure and attractive to the private sector for jobs and investments.

The statement partly reads: ’In November 2020, KDSG had only N162.9m left after paying salaries. That month, Kaduna State got N4.83bn from FAAC and paid N4.66bn as wages. In March 2021, Kaduna State had only N321m left after settling personnel costs.”

The statement pointed out that ‘’that month, the state got N4.819bn from FAAC and paid out N4.498bn, representing 93% of the money received.

‘’This does not include standing orders for overheads, funding security operations, running costs of schools and hospitals, and other overhead costs that the state has to bear for the machinery of government to run, for which the state government taps into IGR earnings.”

The statement also recalled that ‘’in September 2019, Kaduna State Government became the first government in the country to pay the new minimum wage and consequential adjustments. The state government followed this up by increasing the minimum pension of persons on the defined benefits scheme to N30,000 monthly.

‘’This step to advance the welfare of workers significantly increased the wage burden of the state government and immediately sapped up the funds of many local governments.”

According to the state government, “what each public servant earns might be puny in comparison to private-sector wages, but the total wage bill consumes much of the revenues of the state.

‘’Therefore, the state government has no choice but to shed some weight and reduce the size of the public service. It is a painful but necessary step to take, for the sake of the majority of the people of this state”

NewsWireNGR recalls that the Kaduna state government had on April 6, disengaged 4,000 local government workers.

The state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had kicked against the decision, calling on the state government to reverse the decision and seek alternative means of running its affairs without inflicting additional pains on the public.

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