Kaduna State Government on Monday justified its decision to lay off some of its workers, citing high wage bill and dwindling revenues.
The state government disclosed this in a statement titled, “‘Why Kaduna is right-sizing its public service,’ issued by the Special Adviser to the state Governor on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye.
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Already some local government workers in the state, it was learnt, had received their disengagement letters.
The retrenchment of the Kaduna State workers came four days after the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, said Nigeria was in huge financial trouble.
Justifying its decision to lay off workers, the Kaduna State Government said what it had been receiving “from FAAC (the Federation Account Allocations Committee) since the middle of 2020, like most other sub-nationals, can barely pay salaries and overheads.’’
It said, ‘’In November 2020, the KDSG had only N162.9m left after paying salaries. That month, Kaduna State got N4.83bn from FAAC and paid N4.66bn as wages.’’
‘’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.
The statement pointed out that ‘’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 the internally generated revenue earnings,’’ it stated.
It, however, argued that the ‘’desire to pay more is a sentiment that must bow to the limits prescribed by the ability to pay.
‘’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.”
But the state chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress said it planned to mobilise its members for prayers sessions to force the state government against the plan.
According to the state Secretary of the NLC, Christiana Bawa, April 14, 20 and 29 have been slated for the prayer session to hold at the state secretariat of the congress.
SOURCE: PUNCH NIGERIA