Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina has has asked incoming local government chairmen to find a way to generate more revenue to pay staff salaries.
“We will be conducting local government elections very soon in Katsina state. Those chairmen and leaders coming in must know that they must improve on revenue generation in order to pay their staff,” said the governor. “Those that cannot pay their staff, will have to face their workers and tell them why they cannot pay them.”
Mr Masari made the call on Tuesday while fielding questions from journalists in Katsina.
“With regards to financing the local government councils, it is true when we came in, almost all the local governments were over-staffed,” the governor further explained. “We tried by table payment to verify the actual staff on the payroll but what we were able to get was not enough to reduce the huge bill of the local governments. We also realised all of them had genuine appointment letters.”
Mr Masari added that the previous administration stopped the salary of over 2,000.
“We reviewed their cases and some of them were given money while some of them were integrated because that was what they were promised during campaign,” Mr Masari disclosed. “And you know, in the process of that, the prices of oil collapsed. This also brought the finances of local governments down. You may recall that the federal government had to assist the states through a bailout.”
He stressed that in Katsina “there are no industries” to employ people.
“The only industry in Katsina state is the civil service, either state or local government. Paying salaries and pensions are very critical to the survival of the economy of the state,” Mr Masari admitted. “Some local governments have come out of the problem, some are partially out, while some are yet to be.”
Source: Peoples Gazette