Reactions trail Nasarawa AG’s suggestion of cut in cost of governance

October 13th, 2019

From Francis Nansak, Lafia

Reactions from different quarters have flooded the media over an opinion from the Nasarawa state Accountant General, Mr Zakka Yakubu, who before the state house of assembly committee on finance and appropriation suggested the need for cut in the cost of governance in the state.

The AUTHORITY reliably learnt that the Nasarawa state Accountant General was at the committee meeting based on their invitation, which was intended for members of the state assembly to be thorough about the functions of the office of the Accountant General.

But hours after the stately functions as expected of government functionaries, the news hit the town, which had it that the Accountant General categorically told the legislators that government need to downsize workers’ salaries in the state.

While this position was viewed as unfriendly to workers in the state, the accountant general has quickly dusted the air on why and what he meant, which he claimed was not as presented to members of the public, the outcome of his meeting with the lawmakers of the state.

Both the Nigerian Labour Congress, Nasarawa state chapter and the Accountant general on Friday briefed the press differently for the sake of workers understanding on the matter.

The Accountant-General (AG)Mr Zakka Yakubu has said that what went out on air was a misconstrued view to what actually transpired at the state house of assembly ,the state chairman NLC has asked his members to disregard the AG’s position as it was only but his opinion and not government position.

Explaining what was discussed between him and the lawmakers at the committee level, Mr Zakka Yakubu said he only stressed the need to cut cost of governance in the state in view the scarce resources.

According to him, in view of the current economic realities, it is increasingly becoming difficult for the state government to meet up its obligations of prompt payment to workers’ salaries and pension.

He added that a cut in cost of governance would enable the government to pay the backlog gratuity to retirees, provide infrastructure and other essential services for both the state civil servants and the general public.

Zakka, said he pointed out ways to which cut in the cost of governance can evolved the sustainability of prompt payments of salaries to includes; total overhaul of the system towards blocking leakages, proper placement of workers on grade levels base on their qualification.

In part of his opinion explained that a security man working in health facilities without the perquisite medical certificate is collecting medical salary structure higher than a fresh graduate in other sector.
Yakubu also suggested that the government need to explore other means of boosting the internally generated revenue (IGR).

“The current revenue rate being used is what was inherited from Plateau State and is not in tandem with the current economic realities.
“For instance, imagine producing market receipt at the cost of N100 and issuing same for N20 based on the law.

“This does not make economic sense, it’s better that the receipts were not printed at all,” Yakubu added.

The AG also refuted the news in some quarters attributed to him that he wanted downsize in the salaries of civil servants in the state.

The AG noted that when they were invited by the House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation, he called for cut in the. cost of governance in its entirety, but not cut in the workers’ salaries.

He explained that he is conversant with labour law and labour relationship and there is no way he would call for cut in the workers’ salaries.

“I am also a civil servant and a financial expert therefore I cannot advocate for reduction in the workers’ salaries,” the AG added.

However, the chairman NLC comrade Yusuf Sarki Iya,has said the worker union leaders promptly met with the Head of Service,Mr Nicolas Abari ,to know if what was aired as attributed to the state accountant general was true and the position of government, he told newsmen that the HoS said it was only an opinion of the AG and not government policy.

Comrade Sarki also said they met with the AG and what they gathered from him was that he was only misquoted.

He added that upon their visit to the Accountant general that advised him to come out clear and addressed workers for industrial harmony, while he urged workers in the state to disregard the report as it was only an opinion and not a movable motion to be acted upon.

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