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Niger State downsizes 10,000 staff

By The Citizen
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Following the introduction of the N18,000 minimum wage by the Federal Government in 2011 and the inability of Local Government Areas to meet the increase in salary bills, the Niger State Government on Thursday sacked 10,000 workers.

The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Yussuf Garba Tagwai, disclosed this to newsmen on Thursday in Minna at a post-State Executive Council briefing.

Tagwai said this followed government's inability to meet the increase in salary bills.

According to Tagwai: 'The staff strength in the 25 local government areas of Niger State now stands at 46,000 from the initial figure of 56,000 in 2011.

'The state government had to set up a committee to screen workers and it has yielded result as ghost workers were also discovered.'

Tagwai said the State Executive Council, which met at the Government House, has approved the implementation of the report of the staff audit committee.

Similarly, he said all the 25 local government areas in 2011 had a combined salary bill of N3.7 billion monthly, which as a result of the staff verification exercise has now reduced to N2.8 billion monthly.

He however declined to say the number of ghosts workers that have been discovered in the local government areas, promising to address the media on the issue at 'a later date'.

He said with the implementation of the report of the committee, the local government areas will now be in a position to honour their obligations to the Ward Development Project concept introduced by the state Governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu.

It should be noted that under the Ward Development Project policy, the state and its local government areas contributed 50 per cent each to the funding of projects in the 774 wards in the state.