Governor Nasiru El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State on Friday said he would forfeit 50 per cent of his salary pending when the financial situation of the state improves.
The governor stated this in his inaugural address after he was sworn-in by the state Chief Judge, Justice Tanimu Zailani, in Kaduna.
El-Rufa’i said the pay cut would also affect the Deputy Governor, Barnabas Bala.
El-Rufa’i also declared that the administration would “guarantee free and compulsory basic education for every child up to JS3, regardless of gender, religion or ethnicity”.
He said in spite of the challenges facing the state, the administration would also “focus on jobs, security, education, and healthcare.
“The fact is that today Kaduna State cannot meet its obligations without handouts from the Federal Government.
“We cannot comfortably pay salaries of our teachers and nurses and civil servants.
“And after struggling to pay salaries, we can do little else.
“We cannot fix the schools, help our farmers, repair our roads, or treat the sick.
“We have arrived at a dead end.
“The patient is sick and it needs radical therapy.”
El-Rufa’i said the situation demanded for “difficult decisions”, adding that political office holders must sacrifice the comfort of their offices for the greater good of all.
He said: “In recognition of the difficult challenges we face, our Deputy Governor and I have concluded that the sacrifices that change requires must begin with us.
“We have decided to take a pay cut and donate 50 per cent of our salaries and allowances, until our fiscal situation improves.
“We understand that leadership by example is the most persuasive way to demand sacrifices from all of us as citizens.
“We pledge to avoid ostentation and foolish bigmanism, and to value transparency, modesty and accountability.
“We will obey the same rules that we demand of all of you.
“After all, the law is the difference between civilization and anarchy.
“We submit ourselves to the principle that all are equal before the law.”
On security, the governor said he would work with law enforcement officials to drastically reduce violent crime in the state, including “communal violence, cattle-rustling and armed robbery.
“We will reform the administration of justice to ensure speedy conclusion of cases and send a clear message that there will be sanctions for unlawful conduct.”
El-Rufa’i therefore solicited for maximum support from the people of the state to enable the administration deliver on its promises.
He said: “Four years from now, by the grace of God and the active support of you all, we will all be able to say that the leaders in whose care you have placed your affairs today have given their all for the brighter future that we all seek.”