El-Rufai Reveals Plan To Lay Off Public Servants In Kaduna

Nasir Elrufai

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has revealed plans of his administration to lay off some public servants in the state for economic factors.

According to him, the state is facing some hard times financially and there is no other option but to lay off some workers.

The spokesperson of the governor, Muyiwa Adekeye issued a statement on behalf of the governor that addressed the financial woes of the state.

The statement partly read: In September 2019, the 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. 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. 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 (FAAC) have not increased. KDSG has made significant progress in increasing its collection of internally generated revenue (IGR). Without hiking tax rates, the state government has almost quadrupled IGR from about N13bn in 2015 to over N50bn in 2020.

In the last six months, personnel costs have accounted for between 84.97% and 96.63% of FAAC transfers received by the Kaduna State Government. 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% 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.

This Kaduna State Government was elected to develop the state, not just to pay the salaries of public servants. 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

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