Civil servants in Nigeria might do well to prepare for the worse as there are strong indications that the federal government may cut workers’ salaries as part of efforts to reduce the high cost of governance.
The country’s finance minister, Zainab Ahmed, revealed this while speaking at a policy dialogue on corruption and the cost of governance in Nigeria. The event was organized by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission in Abuja.
Ahmed said President Muhammadu Buhari had asked the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission to review the salaries of civil servants and employees of several agencies to save cost.
The minister went further to charge the agencies to work towards cutting down cost because of dwindling earnings by the government.
According to her, the government plans to remove certain items from the budget to reduce the cost of governance.
She said, “We still see government expenditure increase to a terrain twice higher than our revenue. The nation’s budgets are filled every year with projects that are recycled over and over again and are also not necessary.
“Mr President has directed that the salaries committee that I chair work together with the Head of Service and other members of the committee to review the government payrolls in terms of cutting down on cost,’’ Ahmed said.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has refused the reduction in worker’s salaries.
The NLC chairman Ayuba Waba said the new plan if executed is tantamount to a “mass suicide” wish, for Nigerian workers.