By AbdulRaheem Aodu
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna state has explained that the recently isengaged 4,042 local government workers were laid off as part of efforts to make the 23 local governments in the state self-sustaining.
Kaduna state government on Monday served 3,189 local government workers, who had spent over 10 years in service with letters of retirement, while 883 others, who were yet to reach pensionable years, were handed letters of termination of their appointments.
Speaking yesterday in Kaduna, El-Rufai said of the 23 local governments in the state, only Birnin Gwari local government is financially healthy, adding that six local government areas were on life support.
According to him, the remaining 14 local government councils can barely pay their workers salary from the federal allocation and 10% IGR given to them by the state government.
Governor el-Rufai, who spoke through Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, said it became imperative to reduce the over-bloated work force to enable the 23 councils to carry out necessary capital projects and provide basic services for their people.
“Most of the 23 local governments after receiving monthly allocation are barely able to pay salaries; the state government has to augment the shortfall. Six local governments are existing on life-support as they cannot even pay salary; others can pay salaries, but cannot execute development projects after deducting salaries. The local governments need one intervention or the other.
Also speaking, Kaduna state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Ja’afaru Sani, said the affected workers had been served their letters, adding that they had met with the director of the 23 local governments on the payment of three months’ salaries and pension to those retired in lieu of notice and one month salary as well as gratuity to those whose appointments were terminated.
“We have identified eight local governments that have shortage of personnel in critical areas, we would soon advertise to fill the vacant positions. There are 145 personnel in the local governments who are NCE holders on grade level three or four which is below grade level seven which they should be. They would be transferred and absorbed into SUBEB after undergoing mandatory competence test. There are total of 6,732 staff across the 23 local governments left after the 4,042 that were laid off,” he said.