We have become aware of a social media post claiming that Kwara State Civil Servants earn lower salaries compared to their counterparts in Kogi, Osun and Benue. This is propaganda cooked by opposition in a bid to turn civil servants against the state government.
In fact, the Kwara State government has in the last 16 years ensured a good deal for its workers to date including prompt salary and pension payment as well as regular promotion.
First, contrary to the claim that an entry-level graduate civil servant in Kwara State on level 8 Step 1 earns N29,052. 00, the correct figure is about N33,000.
Now, assuming without conceding that workers in those states earn higher gross salaries than Kwarans, the comparison fails to mention whether these states implement contributory pension.
Contributory pension involves 7.5 % contribution each by workers and the state government, as well as contribution arrears and insurance, also paid by government.
This adds up to 20% which is added to the gross before deductions. Similarly, tax rates vary from state to state which will effect actual take home.
So if you discount the pension contribution and taxes from the figures quoted, this brings workers in other states at par with their counterparts in Kwara State.
These are facts concealed from the unsigned write up. In real terms, therefore, Kwara State civil servants are at par with their counterparts in other states even at higher cadres.
We must also emphasise that the three states, not only get higher federal allocation than Kwara but also owe their workers salary huge salary arrears.
On the contrary, Kwara State not only pays salaries comparable to that paid by other states, but it is also one of the few states paying salaries and pensions regularly in Nigeria.
We must also mention that Kwara State Government is currently helping Local Governments pay their individual arrears, having normalized monthly salaries.
For instance, Kwara State has introduced its IGR reforms to the few LGs that are still owing, to pay backlogs. However, the state government has stopped the revenue “bleeding” by ensuring that salaries are centrally paid for workers at the LG levels.
Indeed, Kwara State workers are getting a better deal in terms of salary scales, prompt payment and other welfare benefits from the Kwara State government.
These are clear legacies that the states mentioned in the piece are yet to achieve.