Plight of State Government Workers in Nigeria
I am very angry today. We should really look into the plight of state government workers in Nigeria.
For God’s sake, a worker is entitled to his wages.
These state governors’ stories on not being able to pay workers their wages are really unpalatable and unacceptable.
How can a human (governor) owe his workers for more than 7 months and come out on national television to say he is helpless on the issue?
For crying out loud, the states get a monthly allocation from the FG, they also have been generating revenues internally (most times subjecting businesses and SMEs to multiple taxations) yet they always are broke.
How can this be? What are they doing with all those monies generated, allocated, and borrowed? Is it that no one (law) can hold these sitting governors to account for their expenditures?
They are always quick to point out that the formula of sharing revenue with the FG is not favorable and always asking for an upward review of their own cut, yet the allocation given to them not properly utilized. Massive embezzlement of public funds is the other of the day. That is why the governors wield so much power, misusing public funds with impunity.
That was why the past governor of a northern state took a loan of N2.9bn on the eve of his departure doing nothing with the money. Vanguard reported that he shared the money with the SSG’s office among others.
This is a quagmire; there must be a paradigm shift in the way finances are managed in the Nigerian State. State governments must be made to account for their monthly allocations.
It is not only about how much you get but what you did with what you have. This scenario can be equated with the ‘parable of the talents’ in Matthew 25 vs. 14 – 30.
Now some of these states that are not paying their workers, couldn’t they enquire from states paying how they are coping in these hard times.
Yes, it is true that some states generate more revenue than others but who is saying they should compete in terms of building infrastructures, they are leaving the weightier matters and laying priorities on things that do not have more effect economically.
How can you fight corruption with a hungry civil servant in the office? The civil service rule also states that civil servants will not own businesses outside of their work so they do not get their attention divided.
The state government should;
- The state governments should look for a way to make their states conducive for investors and manufacturers to come in and establish businesses and industries in their states. That way they can generate revenue.
- The states should make their worker’s welfare a priority before any other project is awarded.
- Promote entrepreneurship thereby reducing over-dependency in government by the people.
- Reduce the number of advisers and sub-advisers to reduce the cost of governance
- Set up good policies that will favor the poor masses, not for the rich.
- Most importantly, work within their estimated budget
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