Minimum Wage: ‘The Ebonyi State Comparison
A friend of mine from Ebonyi State told me that he advised his cousin who works as a civil servant in the State to look for another job. I didn’t get what he meant so I asked him.
He told me that before the Governor of Ebonyi State took over, his cousin was earning N66,000 but since the Governor took over, their salaries were slashed as he had to do that in order to work on the State.
I shouted and asked him if they accepted it? He said clearly everyone has adjusted to the new structure of wages.
This got me thinking.
In Abia State, a level 9 civil servant earns N72,000 depending on his/her step while their counterpart in Ebonyi State earns N37,000. If the Governor of Abia State tries to slash it, I know very well that the wails will be deafening.
But looking at it critically, shouldn’t the salaries of all public officers and civil servants be slashed so that the State can have more resources to add to what she already gets from the Federal Government and other sources and use it to provide more infrastructure for the general development of the state?
Also, looking at the many ministries, MDAs and other public offices in Abia State, one will not even need to think too deep why the State Government sometimes struggles to pay salaries.
We have corrupt civil servants and public officers who have numerous ghost workers on their list through which they enrich themselves. This bloats the wage bill in excess of hundreds of millions of naira.
Finally, have you heard about how much Permanent Secretaries earn in Abia State?
These are the things we should look into to address the salary issues in the State and make sure that money flows to the common man.
If salaries are paid, the market woman will sell her wares likewise others where the civil servant will spend his/her money and prosperity will be evenly spread. But the current situation as it is in Abia today is that our commonwealth is concentrated on the hands of few, the civil servants, who take a very large chunk of our resources as wages while leaving little for the development of the state. This is even sadder when most of these civil servants and public officers corruptly enrich themselves at the expense of the state and other citizens. If they must continue to enjoy their largesse, they must do a rethink, change their behaviour towards work, stop the stinking corruption in their midst and help the state raise her revenue profile so that prosperity can go round.
Nneka Torti writes from Umuahia.