The Federal Government of Nigeria has given reasons why the salaries of public servants can’t be increased despite the need to do so.
The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina gave reasons for the Government’s inability to increase the salaries when he received the Central Working Committee of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria at the State House, Abuja on Friday.
While responding to the Committee’s request for the review of civil servants’ salaries, via a Statement titled “Oronsaye report will lead to fundamental changes in our civil service, President Buhari assures,” he quoted the President to have said that while such a review was urgently needed due to global inflation, the Federal Government was working within tight revenue constraints caused by the diversion of resources to urgent security threats nationwide.
He stated, “I wish to urge you to appreciate the revenue constraint being presently faced by the government, which is caused mainly by the activities of unscrupulous citizens through the theft of our crude oil, a major contributor to our revenue base.
“This is compounded by the global economic downturn as a result of the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war, which has led to price increases not just in the costs of goods and services globally, but also in the transportation of these goods and services across the globe.
“You are also aware of the enormous burden placed on our finances by the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, let me note the significant investment we have had to make in security over the last seven years, which means other sectors of the economy have not been able to receive as much funding as we would have liked. Only when our country is secured that we are able to proceed and take on other aspects of our economic challenges.”
The President said he had directed that the Orosanye White Paper Report be subjected to immediate review for the Federal Government to implement its general recommendation.
Buhari, who stated that the review was about to be completed, said its implementation would bring some fundamental changes to the structure of the civil service.
Submitted in 2011, the report has been a subject of controversy as it proposes, among other things, the merging and outright scrapping of over 263 government agencies.
It also proposed that the law establishing the National Salaries and Wages Commission be repealed and its functions taken over by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Responsibility Commission to save the government N2bn.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur