99 political appointees sacked, not civil servants – El-Rufai

Kaduna state governor Nasir el-Rufai has said the state government had started implementing its right-sizing policy by disengaging 99 political appointees, but was yet to disengage any state civil servant.

He said only agencies connected to the local government system had disengaged staff and that the agencies included the 23 local government councils, SUBEB and the Primary Health Care Board.

El-Rufai, who made the disclosure at a media chat with Kaduna-based broadcast journalists Thursday night, said the disengaged political appointees constituted 30 per cent of political office holders.

‘’So far, 99 political appointees have lost their jobs, but we have not commenced right-sizing civil servants. 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,” he said.

“The right-sizing of civil servants will still go on as planned because of the dwindling revenues accruing to the state government from the federation account. Civil servants with question marks on the veracity of their data have to be given a chance to clear the doubts before any action is taken on them.

“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.”

Justifying the exercise, he said all states and the federal government were affected by the shortfall in revenue and that some states had 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 the government.

“We are the first government, federal or state, to pay the minimum wage. We will retain the minimum wage of N30, 000 and the consequential adjustments that gave most of our civil servants a 66% salary increase. We will also retain the minimum pension of N30, 000 monthly.”