The Federal Government (FG) has announced its plans to slash salaries of civil servants and merge agencies with duplicitous functions in its efforts to weather the rough economic storm it currently faces.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, made this disclosure in Abuja on Tuesday, May 4 at the ongoing ‘National Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Cost of Governance in Nigeria.’
Ahmed disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the salaries committee to review payroll and also review the number of agencies.
According to her, the FG will weed out unnecessary items from the budget as a move to cut the cost of governance in the country.
This move is consistent with the 2011 Steve Oransanye Committee report, an 800-page document; which had far-reaching recommendations on MDAs that should be scrapped, those to be merged and those to become self-funding, thereby freeing funds for the much-needed capital projects across the country.
Speaking at the event organised by the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission; the Finance Minister noted that the government had approved a N13.88 trillion budget with a deficit of over N5.6 trillion.
The FG projected revenue of N7.98 trillion to fund part of the 2021 budget.
She said: “We still see government expenditure increase to a terrain twice higher than our revenue.
“We need to work together, all agencies of the government to cut down our cost. We need to cut down unnecessary expenditures. Expenditures that we can do without.
“Our budgets are filled year-in-year-out with projects that we see over and over again; and also projects that are 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 stepping down on cost.”
The Minister said that the FG would also review the number of government agencies in terms of their mandates.