The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has lambasted former Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe, over his insistence that State governments should sack civil servants, stressing that he made a ‘grave mistake’ on the issue and should tell Nigerians why former President Olusegun Obasanjo sacked him.
A statement released by NLC President Ayuba Wabba emphasized that State governments’ inability to pay workers’ salaries across the country is due in large part to a lack of proper planning on the governments’ part, which has nothing to do with the 'over-bloated' civil services in the respective State governments.
“Ordinarily, we would not have responded to Dr. Doyin Okupe when he urged governors, in a statement a few days ago, to retrench civil servants as a panacea to irregular payment of salaries since we know him.”
The labor leader added that Dr. Okupe should disclose his former monthly salary before being sacked by former President Obasanjo.
“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 across the country have over-bloated civil services.’ To underscore this point, he added that between ‘2008 and 2009, Ogun State received N2 billion monthly from the Federation Account and paid out N1.8billion as workers’ salaries, wages and overhead costs’ to civil servants, who are not more than 50,000 in a State with a population of 5,000,000 people.’
“This is bandying political statistics, which is neither good for his health nor the health of those with whom he seeks to ingratiate himself. We at the NLC believe in the equitable distribution of the country’s resources. We would not subscribe to a situation whereby only about 10 percent of the population corners 90 per cent of resources of the State.”
Mr. Wabba stressed that the former Senior Special Assistant should look towards corruption and wastefulness, among other factors, as the sources of State governments’ inability to pay civil servants’ salaries.
“Unlike him, we do earnestly believe the States are where they are because of serial acts of corruption in the past, failure to save for a rainy day, the high cost of governance (via employment of unnecessary aides on criminally high salaries), unlawful and equally unacceptable severance packages for ex-governors and their deputies, cost of political expediency, failure to invest, and other wasteful expenditures.”