The Federal Government has indicated that it plans to cut down on its personnel costs and merge Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) due to persistent low revenue.
This is as the government has pointed out that Nigeria’s current expenditure pattern of spending more money on running the government than on investing on new infrastructure is unsustainable.
This indication was given by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, while speaking at the ongoing National Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Cost of Governance in Nigeria held in Abuja on Tuesday May 4, 2021.
At the programme organised by the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC), the minister said that the government would also remove some items from the budget, going forward, to reduce government expenditure.
What the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning is saying
She said that current government spending cut has become imperative because, “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 government would look to merge 2 agencies with the same mandate.
The Director-General Budget Office, Ben Akabueze, had earlier said that low revenue collection and high recurrent costs have resulted in actual capital expenditure below N2 trillion ($4.88 billion) a year for a decade.
It can be recalled that the Steve Oronsaye Committee on the restructuring of government MDAs whose report had been submitted years ago, had not been implemented due to lack of political will.
The high cost of governance which is characterized by padding of payroll, the existence of ghost workers and other inflated recurrent expenditure, has been identified as a major source of corruption in the country.
This negatively impacts the expenditure on critical infrastructure and social services which are grossly inadequate.