The Peering Advocacy and Advancement Centre in Africa (PAACA) has urged Kaduna State Governor Nasir El Rufai, to look inward and re-strategize as part of measures to resolved the faceoff with the organised labour unions, over the planned sack of workers in the state.
Executive Director, PAACA, Ezenwa Nwagwu, said on Tuesday in Abuja that the state’s intention to cut back on expenses in other to meet its financial obligations to the people of Kaduna is commendable, but to do that at the expense of the ordinary Nigerians whose income can only do so much for them and their families, is cruel and unacceptable.
According to him, the state government should rather cut the pecks of office, other bogus allowances paid political appointees and other wasteful spending in the name of governance and that the recent decision of Governor Nasir El Rufai to abruptly sack an alarming seven thousand working staff of its state, is incomprehensible.
“For years, Nigerians have lamented the high cost of governance and bogus salaries and allowances paid to political officials in all regions, including Kaduna State, calling for a downward review.
“However, this reasonable call was met with stiff resistance from the political class, living the masses to suffer, with majority of them living off a paltry sum as minimum wage, monthly, without the availability of other sources of income, since government remains the major employer in the state and country at large.
“In other to save the state some cash, the government have failed to understand the devastative effect this decision could have on the lives of families heavily dependent on these sacked workers, the psychological trauma of being disengaged from what was meant to be a secured and pensionable job, and more so, at a time when cost of living is at its peak and food crises is spiking,” Nwagwu said.
He lamented that these dismissed workers do not even have the option of farming, for the fear of kidnappers and bandits attack, which would have provided some relieve for many.
He said that if the government is unable to boost employment or create job opportunities, at least, it should not take employment away from its people who are already burdened with the impact of insecurity.
While commending the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliate unions for their massive support and demand for justice, Nwagwu also urge Governor El-Rufai to apply human face and consider the predicaments of the average Nigerians in his state, to convene his think tanks to fashion out a better alternative for improving the earnings of the state and cutting back the unnecessary cost of governance, without threatening the already stretched Kaduna State workers.
He said, “We wish to also call on other states to be proactive in researching alternative ways of improving state earnings and encouraging new businesses that will provide employment opportunities for their indigenes, to avoid the temptation to strangulate its poor and disadvantaged employee