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Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State says the government has begun to implement its rightsizing policy by disengaging 99 political appointees. He, however, stated that the state government had yet to disengage any civil servant as only agencies connected to the local government system have disengaged staff.
The governor who briefed reporters on Thursday listed those affected to include the 23 local government councils, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), and the Primary Health Care Board.
He explained that the disengaged political appointees constituted 30 per cent of the total number of political office holders in the state.
‘’So far, 99 political appointees have lost their jobs, but we have not commenced rightsizing civil servants,” said Governor El-Rufai.
He added, “We want to be fair with regards to civil servants. We had earlier promised that before we reduce the size of the civil service, we will start with political appointees, and we have done that.”
The governor stated that the rightsizing of civil servants would still go on as planned because of dwindling revenues that were accruing to the state government from the federation account.
He added that rightsizing commenced with political appointees because their details were clearly known, making it more straightforward to disengage them.
Governor El-Rufai clarified that civil servants whose veracity of data had raised questions have been given a chance to clear the doubts before any action would be taken.
He disclosed that the government has employed 11,000 more workers in the health sector, Kaduna State University, as well as primary and secondary school teachers across the state.
The governor also faulted the claims that the salaries of political appointees accounted for the bloated personnel cost of the state government.
‘’In March 2021, the salaries of these political appointees amounted to N259 million, while civil servants were paid N3.13 billion aside from costs related to state contributions to pension, accrued rights, and other personnel costs.
“So, it is false to insinuate that political appointees are the ones that guzzle most of the state’s resources,” he stated.
Governor El-Rufai added, “Kaduna State cannot continue to use 84 per to 96 per cent of our revenues to pay salaries of less than one per cent of the population.
“The rest of our people – all 99 per cent of them, need better schools, hospitals, water supply, roads, markets, and support for agriculture to make a living outside the government.”
He also promised that the state government would not reverse the N30,000 minimum wage that it has started paying.