Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai has approved the disengagement of 99 political appointees.
The governor made revealed this at a media chat with journalists in Kaduna on Thursday night, explaining that the disengaged political appointees constitute 30% of political officeholders.
He said his government would reduce the size of civil servants in the state but maintained that government appointees will go first.
“So far, 99 political appointees have lost their jobs but we have not commenced rightsizing civil servants,” the governor said.
“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 who spoke in Hausa during the interview said that rightsizing of civil servants will still go on as planned because of dwindling revenues accruing to the state.
The governor said that his 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.
He also disclosed that it is a fallacy to allege that the salaries of political appointees account for the bloated personnel cost of Kaduna 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 said.
Justifying the rightsizing of the public service, he said that all states and the federal government are affected by this shortfall of revenue and some states have even reverted to paying the old monthly minimum wage of N18,000.
‘’Kaduna State 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,’’ he said.
The governor however promised that Kaduna state will not reverse the N30,000 minimum wage that it has started paying.