Ayade increases aides to 5,096 despite zero allocation
Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade yesterday approved the appointment of additional 1, 096 aides, bringing the total number of political appointees to 5, 096.The appointments come in spite of the state’s huge monthly wage bill of N5.1 billion and zero allocation from the Federation Account.
Ayade said: “Our wage bill is about N5.1billion when you put the local governments and the civil service together. We have a federal allocation of about N2 billion plus and our debt being deducted at source is about N2 billion. So, the state gets zero allocation and an internally generated revenue of less than N500 million.”
The state government in its democracy day message said it had the most bloated government in Africa with over 4,000 appointees with the lowest federal allocation in the country and yet it was embarking on gigantic projects.
“It is not magic but intellectual engineering and managing everything as if my life depends on it,” Ayade said.
Details of the appointment shows 789 were appointees to boards, commissions and agencies while 307 were special advisers, senior special assistants and personal assistants to commissioners, paramount rulers, permanent secretaries and youth liaison officers, among others.
However, the chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Clarkson Out, said it was an irony that a government that cannot promote its civil servants and lamenting unbearable financial cost was appointing scores of aides.
“The salary of the appointees is well above that of directors; we cannot understand. It is just duplication upon duplication and we don’t really know what the government is driving at.
“We can’t stop him. If he wants to appoint 3,000 more, that is left for him provided that he does not shortchange us or interfere with payment of salaries and other welfare packages for civil servants,” he said.