By; FUNMI ADERINTO, Kaduna
Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai of Kaduna State, has said that they will uphold the oath of office to promote the welfare and progress of 10m citizens and they will not spend all or most government resources on the less than 100,000 persons that are public servants.
The Governor who stated this during a state broadcast further said, “Kaduna State is the first government, whether federal or state, to start implementing the new minimum wage.
He explained that, from September 2019, we began paying the new wages with consequential adjustments that raised take home pay by up to 66%. Our 23 local government councils also complied.
“We increased minimum pension to N30,000 monthly for retirees on defined benefits. We started a Contributory Pension Scheme in January 2017 for which the National Pension Commission ranks us as among the best performers in funding it.
We have paid over N13bn out of the arrears of gratuity and death benefits that we inherited from previous governments that remained unpaid from 2010.
“Civil servants bought over 80% of the non-essential residential houses sold by this government since 2017. We arranged mortgages with single-digit interest rate to enable them to afford and pay for these houses.”
The state Governor who appreciate the calm response by our citizens to the NLC’s unwarranted provocation, lawlessness, and denial of essential services. He also thank our traditional, community and religious leaders who helped to manage the strong feelings of our people against the needless pain imposed on them.
Consequently, he sympathised with all the citizens for the denial of electricity four days and the persistent attempt to disrupt normal life and prevent government offices, hospitals, banks, and other private businesses from functioning.
According to him, “we will pursue accountability for the crimes that have been committed and seek remedies for our people. He said, the State has done a lot for the welfare of workers, and it has tried to do this while vigorously trying to develop the state and advance the interests of the majority of our people.
Elrufai said: “Many states are yet to pay these wages, while some that began paying have reversed it. But it is the state that is consistently paying that the NLC came to sabotage.
“We will not become a state that only pays salary, and no amount of pressure will change that. We are a state that believes in progress and development, and we will continue to prioritize this.
“We cannot continue to use 84% to 96% of our revenues to pay salaries of less than 1% of the population. The rest of our people, all 99% of them, need better schools, hospitals, water supply, roads, markets and support for agriculture to make a living outside government.
“We will uphold our oath of office to promote the welfare and progress of 10m citizens and we will not spend all or most government resources on the less than 100,000 persons that are public servants.
“Everyone can see how our urban renewal programme is changing Kaduna, Zaria and Kafanchan for the better. Even our adversaries admit that our social services have improved, and jobs are being created by the private sector due to a conducive economic environment.
“Therefore, the state will rightsize the public service in the interest of the state. In shrinking the public service, we will reduce the number of political appointees and civil servants.
“We are verifying personnel records to remove staff without the required qualifications or with fake qualifications.
“While we exit unqualified and poorly skilled people, we continue to recruit more teachers, health workers and other professionals for our agencies,” he said.
He noted that iIn 2017, they offered land for farming to the unqualified teachers that were disengaged.
“Not many took up the offer, but it is still available, along with access to concessionary funding for SMEs.
“We are in difficult times. Let no one pretend that we can manage the situation by not taking the required measures. We are honest enough to confront our challenges and not behave like the ostrich,” he added.
He assured the residents that the Kaduna State Government will always put the people first.