•Governor Abubakar Sani
Outrage and condemnation have trailed the last minute mass employment into the Niger State civil service by the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani, with less than three weeks to end of his administration as groups and individuals have expressed grave concern over the decision of the governor to leave behind, an over bloated civil service.
After eight years in office, the governor only last month decided to lift embargo on employment in state and have shortlisted over 5,000 unemployed youths to be absolved into the state civil service with a promise to commence payment of their salaries in May before leaving office, reports Daily Sun.
This decision by the governor has generated serious reactions across the state among critical stakeholders who described the action of the governor as a banana pill for the governor-elect, Hon Umar Mohammed Bago.
A group under auspices of “concerned Nigerlites” in it reaction to the development in a statement in Minna said the decision by the governor to leave behind a huge salary wage bill for the incoming administration through the last minute mass employment is a calculated attempt to set the governor-elect against the people.
The group pointed out that with over N250 billion debt incurred by the outgoing administration, it will be impossible for the governor-elect to immediately carry another burden in the area of salary wage bill.
The group in the statement signed by one Mohammed Musa, questioned the morality of the governor for embarking on mass employment on the eve of his administration after eight years, adding that the same governor that have being paying salaries of both state and local government staff on percentage using the recent economic meltdown as excuse will now wants to increase the salary wage bill before leaving office.
According the group “we have observed with great concern, some last minute decisions by the outgoing administration under the leadership of His Excellency, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello which we considered as not only inimical, but a calculated attempt to set the people against the incoming administration.
“As concerned Nigerlite and critical stakeholders in the state, we strongly believed that some of these last minutes decisions is meant to empty the state that has being struggling with mirage of developmental challenges spanning decades, and which calls for sacrifices from all well meaning sons and daughters of the state in other to close the developmental gaps.
“In the last few weeks, Nigerlites and other stakeholders have expressed grave fears and concern over certain decisions of the outgoing administration and have equally called on the incoming administration to take a second look at some of these decisions with a view to correcting them in the overall interest of the state and the children yet unborn.
“The ongoing mass employment into the state civil service with less than one month to the end of the administration is nothing but a banana pill for the incoming administration, considering the financial situation of a state that has continued to live on percentage salaries payment without leave grants to civil servants in the last eight years.
“The question is that why the administration should wait until one month to end of its tenure before giving out employment to the people after eight years. Why has the government suddenly realized that there are vacancies in the state civil service, and needed to fill those vacancies. The outgoing administration knows very well that such mass employment is not sustainable and cannot”.
While urging the governor to suspend such move with immediate effect, the group said it acknowledged the fact that there is the need to engage the army of unemployed youths in the state “such decision should have been left for the incoming administration to handle.
Also in his reaction, All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart and patron of APC presidential campaign council in the state, Alhaji Awaisu Giwa Wana, cautioned the outgoing governor to suspend the last-minute massive employment into the civil service to stop unnecessary burdens.
He said he wondered why the governor should wait till after eight years before engaging the army of employed youths in the state, stressing that the governor’s actions would put the incoming administration in a tight financial corner, especially with the huge debt burden it will inherit from the outgoing administration.
The APC stalwart explained that it is an open secret that the state’s economy is currently in bad shape and unpalatable, therefore more employment into the civil service would create more burdens for the incoming government.
He argued that the outgoing administration ought to have suspended such actions at the twilight of its administration and allowed the incoming one to make necessary decisions based on the realities facing the state.
According to him, “making last minute employments into the civil service, especially the ongoing civil service recruitment is uncalled for because they were actions meant to cause unnecessary burden and undermine the incoming administration,” he added.