Dwindling revenues is now pushing government to consider a tough option of merging hundreds of its Ministries, Departments and Agencies and/or slash salaries of its workers to check burgeoning cost of governance. Zainab Ahmed Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning who also chairs the Presidential Committee on salaries gave this indication in Abuja on Tuesday, 4th of May 2021.

She said President Buhari has directed her committee to review salaries and payroll of the federal institutions as government can no longer cope with huge recurrent spending. “Mr. President has directed that the salaries committee which I chair, work together with the Head of Service and other members of the committee to review the Federal Government’s payrolls in terms of stepping down on cost,” Ahmed said.

She was speaking at the ‘National Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Cost of Governance in Nigeria’ organized by the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC). She further disclosed government plans to equally review the mandates and would consider those which have similar functions. She lamented the unnecessary costs accruing to the federal government, saying that they are now poised to removing frivolous items from the budget as a move to cut the cost of governance in the country.

Nigeria’s Federal Government has planned a N13.9 Trillion spending for 2021 out of which N5.6 Trillion would be spent on recurrent items and N1.060 Trillion on capital. The government has also projected revenue of N7.98 Trillion to partly fund the budget. But implementation of the budget appears pretty difficult over funding issues.

The state-owned oil company had indicated last month that it would not be able to remit any funds to the federation accounts for May FAAC Allocations. “We still see government expenditure increase to a terrain twice higher than our revenue,” Ahmed said.

“We need to work together with all agencies of the government to cut down our costs. We need to cut down unnecessary expenditures, especially the ones we can do without.”

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