HomeLocal NewsOPINION: El-Rufai vs NLC: How justified? Comparing Kaduna with Kano

OPINION: El-Rufai vs NLC: How justified? Comparing Kaduna with Kano

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There is no justification whatsoever for the Kaduna state governor Nasiru Elrufai to just wake up and lay off thousands of workers giving some statistics that don’t hold water.

Kaduna state does not completely and solely rely on FAAC for its survival nor does any state in the federation.

More so, Kaduna state has a very high IGR that even the governor commends. If we are to compare the IGR of Kaduna state with those of others in the zone, it is clear that it is more than that generated by Kano state. Yet both the population of Kano and its workers are twice the population of Kaduna and its workers.

Some of the statistics being given as to the number of those to be employed in the civil service by those trying to justify what governor El-Rufai is doing is not realistic when compared to the GDP of the country and the level of development of the nation.

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The function of such statistics always depends on the level of development of the country or state it is being implemented as well as the constitutional function of government.

Lest we forget, some countries are underdeveloped, some are developing and others are developed, where does Nigeria belong?

It is only logical that the level of development determines the rate at which government should employ its citizens. In places like Nigeria, the government must substitute the absence of a strong, performing, and functional private sector in which case the said statistics cannot function in Nigeria, at least not at the moment. It mist employ people and provide job opportunities for them. It must also provide social services and good welfare for the citizens. It is the absence of these that bring about anarchy and insecurity as currently witnessed in Nigeria.

More so, going by our comparison between Kaduna state and Kano, Kano is paying N30,600 as basic salary which is N600 more than that being paid by the Kaduna state government. This implies that there is more liability on the Kano state government than the Kaduna state government.

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When the Kano state government wanted to adopt the basic qualification policy for teachers in the state it sponsored teachers in their thousands to acquire the basic teaching certificate of either a Diploma or NCE for those who were not qualified enough. On the other hand, the Kaduna state government just flushed out thousands of teachers, it dismissed them. They lost their livelihood and some of them died of frustration. Today the teachers have lost their jobs in Kaduna while in Kano they have retained theirs and are even enjoying promotion and other benefits despite limited resources.

Going a step further, let’s see how justifiable it is for the Kaduna state government to claim that it needs money for infrastructural development as against human development. In terms of infrastructural projects, the mega projects, that have been completed in Kano by the state government under Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in the last few years, with some still going on, that include roads construction and renovation, flyovers and underpasses, and even the largest cancer treatment center in the country, are more than those being embarked upon by the Kaduna state government, but yet workers were not dismissed in the state.

Yes, the Kano state government would have been the first to face the NLC resistance but for the magnanimity in the governance of the state leadership. When the state government was challenged by the NLC for reverting to the old basic salary for a month or two instead of refusing to pay workers the NLC responded. The state governor did not fight with the union, it did not declare their activities as criminal or their leaders wanted. It engaged them in a discussion and negotiation. In the end, both the government and the NLC reached an agreement with the NLC accepting that the state governor is committed to the new salary structure and would revert to it, pay the difference from the affected months and maintain it within the specified months it overcomes the resource restraints. Both the NLC and the state government were satisfied with the outcome. This is functional democratic leadership and not autocracy in governance.

It is clear that the primary assignment of government is to protect the lives and property of the governed that also includes the provision of good welfare for them. Hence, the government should rather employ more people instead of dismissing them even if it has to use all the FAAC to pay the workers as it does not rely on FAAC to run the government, it is expected to generate its own IGR. Those workers help keep the state alive and kill poverty as they spend their incomes on their domestic demands in the state. This helps sustain the state’s economy by empowering smaller retail businesses that buy from them. Is a big circle and more money is put in circulation?

Hence, if a state like Kano that has a population of about 20 million people can manage both human and infrastructural development with a lower IGR, there is no justification whatsoever for Elrufai that is leading a state that is having a population of fewer than 10 million people with lesser infrastructural and almost zero human development projects with higher IGR to dismiss thousands of workers without any remunerations. Especially in a regime of recession and extreme poverty enthused by massive insecurity in the country. There is no justification whatsoever so he should bring those workers back and learn from Kano state government.

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