By John Ikani
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has disclosed that the Federal Government of Nigeria is perfecting plans to reduce its workforce.
Zainab made the disclosure on Wednesday during a public presentation of the 2022 approved budget in Abuja.
According to her, reducing the size of Government has become imperative, given the huge amount the Government spends on recurrent expenditure annually.
The Government’s mode of reducing the workforce, the Minister said, will not entirely be in line with the Stephen Oronsaye report but based on a committee recommendation.
Some Federal Government workers will lose their jobs when agencies are merged.
The Minister went on to note that the Federal Government is designing what it calls an exit package for government workers that will be leaving the service.
What the minister is saying
“There is a special committee led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) that is working on the review of agencies with the view to collapsing them partly using the Oransanye report.
“At the end of it what we want to do is to reduce the size of government and also to reduce the size of personnel cost and part of it will be designing the exit packages that are realistic”.
The reason for the planned merger of agencies, the Finance Minister, said is because “we are revenue-challenged”.
About the Stephen Oronsaye Committee Report
The Oronsaye Committee was set up on August 18, 2011, with a mandate “to study and review all previous reports and records on the restructuring of Federal Parastatals and advise on whether they were still relevant; examine the enabling Acts of all the federal agencies, parastatals and commissions and classify them into various sectors; examine critically, the mandate of the existing federal agencies, parastatals and commissions and determine areas of overlap or duplication of functions and make appropriate recommendations to either restructure, merge or scrap some to eliminate such overlaps, duplications or redundancies; and advise on any other matter incidental to the foregoing, which might be relevant to the desire of the government to prune down the cost of governance.”
However, in April 2012, it submitted its 800-page report, which recommended the abolition and merger of 102 government agencies and parastatals, among others, to drastically cut the cost of governance. The committee identified 541 government parastatals, commissions and agencies, both statutory and non-statutory, and recommended a reduction in the number of statutory agencies from 263 to 161; 38 agencies should be abolished; 52 agencies should be merged and 14 should revert to departments in ministries.