Plan to cut a staggering 30-50 percent salaries of Civil Servants in Niger State is underway. Niger State Government is adducing recession, which according to the State Government has affected inflow of finances, as the factor responsible for the impending salary slash. According to available information, Niger State Government appears sketchy with requisite statistics as to the inflow of resources to the State, it has been more of rhetorics.
While admitting the veracity of recession as retrogressive outlook of an economy, it is pertinent we peruse with utmost sense of rationality, the posture of Niger State Government on salient issues in relation to claims of insufficient funds. This is 21st century, we shouldn’t just swallow a seemingly sensational claims without subjecting same to litmus test.
For clarity, payment of salary is first line charge. By implication, salary belongs to category of government expenditures that must come first before any other. Moreso to a civil service economy like Niger, it will amount to double jeopardy, if half of the resources that propel our MSME is withheld.
It is unjustifiable, for Niger State Government to cut salaries of Civil Servants on the premise of insufficient funds, whereas the same Government is daily dishing out political appointments to friends and cronies. It doesn’t make economic sense, as same depicts the Government as being concerned more with politics, rather than governance.
Local Government employees in Niger State have gone months without salaries, most of them have turned practical beggars as they no longer meet end needs, on the other hand, political appointees are not only increasing in their numbers, they are living so comfortably without salary owed.
An overview of reasons advanced for the planned salary cut, vis-a-vis avoidable and unnecessary increase in expenditures of the Government will amount to simple conclusion; the Government is not sincere and we are not getting our priorities right.
Salaries have multiplying effect on the economy. It stimulates economic growth. Where recession is experienced, Government borrow to increase spending in areas of economy, thereby revitalizing the sector for prompt exit from recession. You don’t exit recession by reducing spendings. This is simple economics.
The misplacement of priorities in Niger State, being anchored and propagated by cache of media aides is to be expected, considering that this Government has more media aides than economy aides (if any).
Niger State Government should rethink its planned salary cut, as same is inimical to economic growth. If anything, the State Government should borrow and finance spendings that will improve our economic prospects, thereby exiting the State and the Nation from recession.
Bridges and roads are built for humans, if we can borrow to finance roads construction, it will be more logical we borrow to finance payment of salaries.