El-Rufai To Sack Public Servants In Kaduna Over Dwindling Revenue
…Says State Spending N4.66bn Monthly On Salaries Of 100,000 Workers
The Kaduna State Government has announced that it will lay-off some public servants and political appointees in the state over payment difficulty.
The decision, which was reached as a result of the negative impact of the wage load on the state, was contained in a statement by Muyiwa Adekeye, the Special Adviser to the Governor (Media & Communication) on Monday.
According to the government, 90 per cent of the state allocation is consumed by the workers who are less than 100,000.
Kaduna state has over 9 million people and pays the approved N30,000 minimum wage according to the statement.
The government lamented that in 2020 November, the State got N4.83bn from Federation Account allocations Committee and paid N4.66bn as wages.
It said the state was left with only N162.8m after paying the salaries.
The state pointed out that what it received from FAAC since the middle of 2020, like most other states, could barely pay salaries and overheads.
The state said, “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.
“The public service of the state with less than 100,000 employees and their families) cannot be consuming more than 90 per cent of government resources, with little left to positively impact the lives of the more than 9 million that are not political appointees or civil servants. It is gross injustice for such a micro minority to consume the majority of the resources of the State.
According to the state, it was 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.
“While the Kaduna State Government believes that public sector wages overall are still relatively low, their current levels are obviously limited by the resources available to the 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,” it added.
It noted that the desire to pay more is a sentiment that must bow to the limits prescribed by the ability to pay.
“Kaduna State public finances have been severely stretched by the higher wage bills at a time when revenues from the Federation Account allocations Committee have not increased. KDSG has made significant progress in increasing its collection of internally generated revenue.
Without hiking tax rates, the state government has almost quadrupled IGR from about N13bn in 2015 to over N50bn in 2020.
The state lamented that in the last six months, personnel costs have accounted for between 84.97 per cent and 96.63 per cent of FAAC transfers received by the Kaduna State Government.
The state said, “In March 2021, Kaduna State had only N321m left after settling personnel costs. That month, the state got N4.819bn from FAAC and paid out N4.498bn, representing 93 per cent 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.”
He further quoted El-Rufai saying he was elected to develop the state, not just to pay the salaries of public servants.
The government added, “It was elected to promote equality of opportunity to build and run schools and hospitals, upgrade infrastructure and make the state more secure and attractive to the private sector for jobs and investments.
“Under the leadership of Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the Kaduna State Government is faithfully implementing this mandate, amidst challenges and constraints
“The government is an institution organised to deliver public goods, not to minister solely to the interests of the persons employed to help deliver mandates. 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. The public service of the state with less than 100,000 employees and their families) cannot be consuming more than 90 per cent of government resources, with little left to positively impact the lives of the more than 9 million that are not political appointees or civil servants. It is gross injustice for such a micro minority to consume the majority of the resources of the State.
” Faced with a difficult situation, the Kaduna State Government is persuaded that it cannot refuse to act or act in ways that only conduce to populist sentiment, without solving the fundamental problem.
“The redundancies to be declared will affect political appointees and civil servants, and its purpose is to save funds and ensure that a strong and efficient public service exists to use those resources to implement progressive programmes and projects for the people, and thereby develop the state.”
The government said that to ease the impact of the action on the persons that would be affected, it would direct Pension Fund Administrators to commence processing of their benefits.
“Therefore, KDSG will not only work with the Pension Fund Administrators to expedite payments of any contributory pension benefits due to those so entitled to them but will also give preferential treatment to those disengaged that are willing to take advantage of the state government’s various agricultural and entrepreneurship development schemes KDSG appeals for the understanding of everyone in Kaduna State and urges officers that may be affected to embrace alternatives in the private sector,” it added.