By BEN AGANDE
KADUNA – The Kaduna state government has disengaged 4,042 local government workers across the 23 local government areas in the state, citing redundancy as reason.
The state commissioner for local government and Chieftancy affairs, Alhaji Jafaru Sani, told journalists at a press conference in Kaduna Monday that the exercise was part of the ongoing restructuring of the local government system for effective service delivery.
According to him, the restructuring was designed to strengthen the local government system to carry out developmental projects and programmes.
The commissioner explained that 3,159 of the disengaged staff had put in 10 years and were retired while the remaining 893 had their jobs terminated.
In order to cushion the effects of their sudden disengagement, the commissioner said the disengaged staff would be paid their November salary as well as three months’ salary in lieu of notice while their pension would be worked out by their pension administrators.
Sani added that those whose appointments were terminated would equally be paid their November salary, one month salary in lieu of notice and gratuity according to the civil service rule.
“It is a known fact that the LGAs were overburdened by redundant and unproductive staff who are contributing nothing to the development of the councils.
“Because of the over-bloated staff, the LGAs are doing nothing other than paying salaries and end up becoming more or less a poverty alleviation centres, where people just go to collect money and go home.
“To ensure development at the local levels therefore, we have to do what is right by downsizing the redundant staff to free some funds that would be injected in developmental projects.
“With the disengagement, the supporting members of staff at the 23 LGAs are now 6,732, excluding primary school teachers and primary health care workers.
“I am sure, with this development, local government areas will soon start executing capital and development projects to provide social services to the people.
Explaining while the government took the decision, the Permanent Secretary, Local Government Commission, Mr Mahmud Zailani, said the action was in fulfillment of Gov. Nasir El-Rufai’s campaign promise to strengthen public service.
“The governor began his public service restructuring at the state level when he reduced the number of the state ministries from over 20 to 13.
“A number of permanent secretaries and other staff had to go during the process as part of efforts to provide quality public service.
“I say here that the disengagement was not forced on the LGAs but was carried out with their full support and each LGA was treated according to its peculiarities,’’ Zailani said.
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