After Sacking Over 4000 Workers, Governor El-Rufai Says, “He Was Not Elected To Pay Workers Salaries”
This comes after 4000 employees in the state’s 23 local government areas received letters terminating their jobs.
“I was elected to encourage equality of opportunity, to develop and operate schools and hospitals, to improve infrastructure, and to make the state more stable and attractive to the private sector for employment and investments,” the governor continued.
El-Rufai said in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, that the government’s public finances have been seriously strained by high wage bills at a time when FAAC revenues have remained flat.
“After paying salaries and earning N4.83 billion from FAAC, KDSG had just N162.9 million left in November 2020,” he said.
The government pointed out that, like most other sub-nationals, the money it has been collecting from FAAC since the middle of 2020 is barely enough to cover wages and overheads.
“Personnel costs accounted for between 84.97 percent and 96.63 percent of FAAC transfers obtained by the Kaduna State Government in the last six months,” he said.
After paying payroll expenses, Kaduna State had just N321 million left in March 2021.”
The statement said it received N4.819 billion from FAAC in March 2021 and paid out N4.498 billion, accounting for 93 percent of the money received, adding, “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 is responsible.”
“In September 2019, the Kaduna State Government became the first government in the country to pay the new minimum wage and subsequent adjustments,” the statement said.
Following this, the state government increased the minimum pension for people on the defined benefit scheme to N30,000 per month.
“This step to improve worker safety greatly raised the state government’s wage burden and immediately depleted the funds of several local governments.
“While the Kaduna State Government agrees that public sector salaries are still relatively low in general, their current levels are clearly constrained by the government’s resources.
It was appropriate to make a job break.
“What each public servant receives may be pitiful in comparison to private-sector salaries, but the overall wage bill absorbs most of the state’s revenues,” El-Rufai said.
“The urge to pay more must yield to the constraints imposed by willingness to pay; as a result, the state government has no choice but to shed some weight and shrink the public service.
For the sake of the majority of the people in this state, it is a difficult yet important decision to take.”
Although justifying the job cuts, the statement described them as “a painful yet necessary step to take, for the sake of the majority of the people of this state, the state’s public service with less than 100,000 employees (and their families) cannot be consuming more than 90% of government resources, with nothing left to positively impact the lives of the more than nine million who live in this state.”
“It is a gross injustice that only a small group consumes the bulk of the state’s resources.”
He noted that the rationalization process would influence political appointees, and that the goal is to save money while ensuring that a good and effective public service is in place to use those funds to enact progressive programs and initiatives for the people, and thereby improve the state.
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