El-Rufai asks Kaduna lawmakers to sacrifice, slash salaries
TO enable the state generate enough funds to develop and deliver dividends of democracy to the people, Kaduna Governor, Malam Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai yesterday urged all legislators in the House of Assembly and other political office holders to emulate his recent decision and that of the Deputy Governor by slashing their salaries and other personal emoluments.
The Governor made the plea to the lawmakers during his maiden official visit to the State House of Assembly yesterday where he stressed that all hands must be on deck to return Kaduna State to path of development and growth.
Governor El-Rufai lamented that hitherto, 80 per cent of the state resources was being spent on salaries and allowances of civil servants and political office holders, while 20 per cent is left for the state’s development.
“Once done with paying salaries, allowances, overheads and pensions, the state is unable to do much by way of building infrastructure or providing 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 we 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 financial straits, with its finances in shambles, saddled with huge debts and other liabilities, including pension arrears and pending obligations to contractors.”