GhanaNaija| August 20| Why we can’t increase civil servants’ salaries – Buhari
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), Friday, gave reasons why the Federal Government could not increase public servants’ salaries despite its desirability.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari as giving the reasons when he received the Central Working Committee of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria at the State House, Abuja.
The statement was titled ‘Oronsaye report will lead to fundamental changes in our civil service, President Buhari assures’.
Responding to the committee’s request for the review of civil servants’ salaries, the President said 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It also proposed that the law establishing the National Salaries and Wages Commission be repealed and its functions were taken over by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Responsibility Commission to save the government N2bn.
While noting that public service, as the engine room of government, should attract the best and the brightest, the President said, “I have directed that the Orosanye White Paper Report be subjected to immediate review to enable the government to take the most appropriate decision on its general recommendation.
“I am aware that the review is about to be completed. While some may complain about the length of time it has taken thus far, the outcome of the various review teams will lead to some fundamental changes in the structure of our civil service and as such, it must be subjected to rigorous review and scrutiny before presentation and implementation.”
He explained that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation would submit the harmonised white paper once it had been concluded.