El-Rufai, who made the reveal in a media chat with some Kaduna-based broadcast journalists, stated that the unengaged political appointees make up 30 percent of the political office holders.
He said the state had started implementing its rightsizing policy by removing 99 political officers, but not yet removing any state official.
The governor announced that only agencies connected to the local government system have laid off staff, including the 23 local government councils, the SUBEB and the Primary Health Care Board.
” So far 99 political officials have lost their jobs, but we have not yet started to justify officials. We want to be fair to the officials. We had previously promised that before we cut civil service, we would start with political officers, and we did, ” he said.
The governor who in Hausa spoke, said that the upgrading of civil servants was going on as planned because of the dwindling revenue flowing into the state government from the federal account.
El Rufai explains that the rightsizing with political appointees started because its details are clearly known, which makes it easier to remove.
” However, officials with question marks about the veracity of their data need a chance to resolve the doubts before any action is taken, ” he clarified.
The governor said his government has 11,000 other workers in the health sector, Kaduna State University, and elementary and secondary school teachers throughout the state.
The governor revealed that it is a fallacy to claim that the salaries of political nominees are responsible for the inflated personnel costs of the Kaduna state government.
” In March 2021, the salaries of these political appointments amounted to N259 million, while the civil servants received N3.13 billion, excluding the cost of state pension contributions, entitlements and other staff costs. So it is wrong to assume that political agents are the ones who devour most of the state’s resources, ” he said.
Justification of civil service adjustment, he said that all states and the federal government are affected by the revenue shortfalls and some states have even returned to the old monthly minimum wage of N18,000.
However, the governor has promised that the state Kaduna will not reverse the N30,000 minimum wage he has started.
“We are the first government, at federal or state level, to pay the minimum wage. We will maintain the minimum wage of N30,000 and the resulting adjustments that have resulted in a 66% increase in salaries for most of our officials. We will also maintain the minimum pension of N30,000 per month.
“The unified local government service continues to pay the minimum wage, although the follow-up adjustments for its workers have varied below the level for state officials ” he added.
The governor also promised that the state will continue to fund free education from Elementary School 1 to SS3, adding that ” We have directed our Department of Education to find ways to ensure that we sponsor students for WAEC exams as we do for NECO. ”
El Rufai emphasized that basic education is a priority for the government of Kaduna state because “we consider it the foundation for equal opportunities.”