By Mohammad Ibrahim
Kaduna (Nigeria) – Governor of Kaduna State, Northwest Nigeria, Nasir El-Rufai has tasked Kaduna Legislature to follow his footsteps by cutting down their salaries and allowances to enable the state generate enough funds for development.
According to him, 80 per cent of the state resources was spent on salaries and allowances of civil servants and political office holders, while only 20 per cent is left for the state’s development.
The Governor made the appeal when he paid a maiden official visit to the State Assembly.
He said because of high cost of governance the state is unable to do much by way of building infrastructure and providing good services.
“The stark fact is that Kaduna State spends 80 per cent of its total revenues on its public servants and political office holders.
”Can we as elected leaders deliver any significant service or implement progressive actions or attain desirable outcomes for the majority of our people if we devote only 20 per cent of available resources to their needs?
“Would will not be undermining the very rationale of democracy if, after being elected by majority vote, we uphold a system that solely serves the pleasures of a servant-minority?
“How many good roads or decent hospitals can we build and maintain when we leave so little monies for the things that actually matter?
“The elections that have thrust the responsibility of governance on us reflect the yearning of our people for leaders that are competent, responsive and willing to offer dedicated service.
“As elected officials, we must view our massive mandates as instructions by our people for unrelenting work on their behalf. The change they voted for is for substantive improvements in the delivery of public goods, a new way of doing things and the prioritisation of their needs.
“As you are aware, the executive branch of this government has been taking briefings from the ministries, departments and agencies that constitute the public service of Kaduna State.
“The preliminary findings indicate that our Kaduna State is in dire straits. Its finances are a shambles, with huge debts and other liabilities, including pension arrears and pending obligations to contractors.
“This highly indebted state is also dependent on allocations from the federation account, without which it will be unable to pay its workers their salaries and allowances
In his remarks, Speaker of the Kaduna State House Assembly, Aminu Shagali expressed readiness to work with the state government.
He commended the Governor for visiting the chambers.