The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said on Tuesday that the inability of state governments across the country to pay staff salaries has nothing to do with over blotted civil service, but reckless spending by state governors and failure to save for the rainy days.
Reacting to a statement credited to former presidential adviser on media. Dr. Doyin Okupe, asking states to sack civil servants, the president of the NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said in a statement that retrenching civil servants was a panacea to irregular payment of salaries.
He said the congress believes that the states are where they are because of serial acts of corruption in the past, failure to save for a rainy day, high cost of governance (via employment of unneeded aides on criminally high salaries), unlawful and equally unacceptable severance packages for ex-governors and their deputies, cost of political expediency and failure to invest.
The statement reads: “Ordinarily, we would not have responded to Doyin Okupe, former Senior Special Assistant to former President Goodluck Jonathan when he urged governors in a statement few days ago, to retrench civil servants as a panacea to irregular payment of salaries, because we know him.
“In his jaundiced argument, very much unlike one who is truly deserving of his certificate from a medical school, Okupe said, “virtually all state governments in the country have over-bloated civil service.”
“To underscore this point, he said between ‘2008 and 2009, Ogun State received N2 billion monthly from the federation account and paid out N1.8billion as staff salaries, wages and overhead costs’ to civil servants not more than 50,000 in a state with a population of 5,000,000.
“In his view therefore it was ‘an obvious socio-economic absurdity and incongruity where 10 per cent of the population was consuming 90 per cent of the wealth of the state.’
“Okupe is bandying political statistics and this is neither good for his health nor the health of those with whom he seeks to ingratiate himself. We at the Nigeria Labour Congress believe in the equitable distribution of the nation’s resources. We will not subscribe to a situation whereby 10 per cent corner 90 per cent of the resources of the state.”