By David Habba
This is to intimate you of my appointing myself as Chief Adviser on citizens matters to governments and people around the world and also to offer you some very hard advice on quick wins with respect to the socio-economic realities of Benue state. You will agree with me that my position is a very serious one and the task set ahead of me is huge. I have since drafted, signed and collected my letter of appointment and resumed work. Please expect more of these from me.
I am not a civil servant and no one of my close relations works in the civil service. The closest I remember is my grandmother who has since retired from the service and does not collect any form of pension as she retired under the current pension.
scheme being operated. Apart from my job as Chief adviser on public affairs, I am a taxi driver and a tax payer. In Benue, there are over 4 million people like me who do not work in the civil service and hence do not collect any salaries from the state.
I am writing to tell you that as matter of urgency, you should please disband the civil service. Yes we appreciate the services offered by those who currently constitute the service but due to current realities, it is in the best interest of all for the service to be disbanded.
2006 census data from the Nigerian Population Commission show that there are about 4.2 million people in Benue state. I am also aware that of this number, only about 1 percent make the Benue civil service. We also aware that the financial fortunes of our beloved state has dwindled due to the drastic fall in price of crude such that revenue accruing to the state both from the Federation account and internally generated is not even enough to pay salaries of civil servants. I am also privy to the fact that every other time, the state has to borrow to pay salaries. This is an injustice; it is unfair and has to stop.
As one who is outside of the government who does not draw a salary from the government, dividends of democracy come to me when the government use our resources to implement projects that will benefit me and these come largely in capital projects. A situation where the state uses all of our collective resources to pay civil servants is not only wrong but also unfair. Are those in the service more patriotic than myself; are they more Benue than me and the over 4 million Benue citizens? Why should they take all of our resource and even borrow from our future? This is a huge injustice. Remember when allocation is shared, it is shared taking cognizance of the population; that means I am counted plus, these loans will be jointly paid by all of us. If we do not have money to pay civil servant salaries, we need to as a matter of urgency disband the civil service. Nobody says government cannot sack people when it cannot pay. Let our money be used for the collective good of all, I mean all. Not just the rich and powerful or only those in the civil service but all.
I have spoken about this to some civil servants and they insist that there is money. They say some powerful people in powerful places have planted ghost workers and even ghost institutions milking us dry. Some say, traditional leaders, top ranking career politicians who do not have any paying job, top level civil servant are all involved in this. There is even the insinuation in some quarters that these people are the untouchables of Benue and even you would not dare. I am seriously hoping this is not true.
In essence i am saying, you have been working hard, navigating difficult paths to keep the state going and running. I am saying, paying salaries should not be prioritized over capital projects. I understand the blackmail and heat that this can generate. I am not a civil servant yet I am surviving, I do not have monopoly over survival, they too can survive outside the service If entrepreneurship is good, then they should join us. I do not want to comment on the productivity of these civil servants yet, not now but please Gov Ortom, pay attention to the remaining over 4 million people who make up the state. I do not know how you would do this but ghost workers and ghost institutions. If this would be your only accomplishment, you would be saving generations beyond mine.
My Chief advisership does not come with a monthly pay, neither does it come with any gain except of course, a few praises and a lot of insults just like I am going to get when I post this
Thank you and God bless
Chief Adviser to Governments and people around the world on citizen matters