In the aftermath of the suspended strike by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has reiterated his pledge towards ensuring a revamp of the state’s civil service by sacking unqualified workers for the development of the state.
The Governor made this assertion via a statement issued on Saturday while commending the residents for their forbearance during the strike period.
According to El-Rufai, his administration is “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.
“Therefore, we 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.”
The Governor also lauded the resilience of Kaduna residents “in the face of the sustained assault on your rights, freedoms, and livelihoods by the NLC over the previous four days.
“We appreciate the calm response by our citizens to the NLC’s unwarranted provocation, lawlessness, and denial of essential services.
“The Kaduna State Government wishes to express its regrets that such lawlessness was permitted by those with the duty to prevent it. We sympathise with all our citizens for the denial of electricity for four days and the persistent attempt to disrupt normal life and prevent government offices, hospitals, banks, and other private businesses from functioning.
“As your government, we will pursue accountability for the crimes that have been committed and seek remedies for our people.”
He further berated the organised labour for singling out Kaduna State despite the fact that “it is the first government, whether federal or state, to start implementing the new minimum wage.
“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.
“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.”
“Let us all stand together against the entitled unionists who invaded our state to inflict pain and misery on our people. I assure you that the Kaduna State Government will always put the people first.”
By Mayowa Oladeji
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