Okonjo Iweala Lends Support to Sanusi’s Call for Civil Service Reduction

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The Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has supported the views of the Central Bank Governor, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, on the best way to free up funds for the Nigerian economy to thrive.

Sanusi had said that there would need to be a mass sack of civil service workers or appointees in order for more money to be made available for capital projects in the country that would provide employment and comfort for the Nigerian people.

Speaking yesterday at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group in Abuja, the minister said some of the government agencies in the country were not rendering any service to the people of Nigeria. She said Sanusi was right in his call for massive civil service retrenchment, as the only way to free up funds for capital expenditure was to reduce the recurrent expenditure vis-à-vis the reduction of the government workforce that swallow 32% of the budget.

She said, “On the expenditure side, you said our reduction from 77 per cent to about 68.8 percent is marginal, but let me tell you that there is room to do more and you will come to a point where you have to implement the Oronsaye Committee report and eliminate duplication.

“We are aware that there are government agencies that are not rendering any service. But let me tell you, the targets of this fiscal tightening are human beings; they are the ones that must be eliminated to prune down the costs. The cost of personnel in the budget is 32 per cent and that is huge. So, when you get to a point of tackling the recurrent budget, it will then mean people. That is the bottom line, let us just be frank about it.

“And the same public that is crying about cost of governance will remind you that one civil servant is catering for five other Nigerians when you really want to reduce the cost of governance. We had this hue and cry about the misquoting of Lamido and people almost called for his head, but you have to understand that when you talk about reducing cost of governance, you are ultimately talking about human beings.

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