“Stop irresponsible spending” – Sanusi tells FG to sack 50 per cent of civil servants, remove fuel subsidy

by Isi Esene

Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday called on the Federal Government to slash 50 per cent of the entire civil service workforce.

He lamented that 70 per cent of the nation’s earnings go to the payment of salaries and entitlements of civil servants.

Sanusi said this at the Second Annual Capital Market Committee Retreat in Warri, Delta State. He argued that his recommendation will afford the FG an opportunity to free up capital for infrastructure development and buoy the economy.

According to the CBN governor, “At the moment 70 per cent of Federal Government’s revenue goes for payment of salaries and entitlement of civil servants, leaving 30 per cent for development of 167 million Nigerians. That means that for every naira government earns, 70 kobo is consumed by civil servants.

“You have to fire half of the civil service because the revenue of the government  is supposed to be for 167 million Nigerians. Any society where government spends 70 per cent of its revenue on its civil service has a problem. It is unsustainable.

“The various tiers of government should cut down their recurrent expenditure and use the fund to provide basic infrastructure like schools, hospital, etc.

“How can we be using the proceeds from our major source of revenue to service recurrent expenditure, by paying salaries, allowances, etc. The country should be thinking of enhancing its productivity base rather than spending on things that cannot create wealth.”

He said when the expenses of lawmakers, civil servants and those in the executive arm of government are totalled, Nigerians will find out that their national  revenue has been consumed by the executive,  lawmakers and civil servants.

“Do we need 774 LGAs? Do we need 36 states some of which are not viable? Why not just remove them and have only state governments?” he asked rhetorically.

He reportedly said, “There are state governors whose monthly allocations are barely enough to pay salaries. I hear such governors complain and I say ‘why complain when the solution is simple?’ It is irresponsible to use all your money to pay salaries and wait for another month’s allocation and pay salaries and after four years, you would have done nothing.”

He went further to advocate the total removal of fuel subsidy.

According to him: “People have the right to demand transparency. If you want to remove subsidy, you have to show what happened to those who stole.”

The Delta State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, who was also at the event, however, disagreed with the CBN governor, saying, “I don’t agree with the CBN governor that we should sack our workers to reduce the recurrent expenditure in our budget without providing alternatives.”

Comments (3)

  1. Mr. Lamido Sanusi, I hope you come to this website once in a while to read up on some posts including this one. Headcount reduction in the Civil Service is not the problem but part of a solution to a series of problems facing Nigeria. One of the HUGE problems we face is unemployment, which Mr. Sanusi alludes to reducing if the seventy percent of the total available budget were not spent on salaries and allowances. Wrong! The western economies have been fighting unemployment for decades. With all the money and intellectuals they have, they have been unable to achieve full employment. Part of the solution should be the willingness to create jobs – good jobs (unlike graduates applying for truck driver jobs). If you can do that perhaps the Civil Service wouldn't be so enticing to the masses. What makes Mr. Sanusi think the funds recuperated from the layoff of fifty percent of the Civil Service would go into meaningful projects that create employment and wouldn't be siphoned and shipped abroad like the billions of dollars our former leaders and government- created billionaires do daily? What most countries lack, including Nigeria is the creativity it takes in creating employment in general, and meaningful ones that can benefit us as a society. I must say, the man behind graduates applying for truck driver jobs is trying, doing his part, but lacks real creativity in creating meaningful jobs. The Gov. of Lagos State, Tinubu, is also trying…

    Nigeria shouldn't have high unemployment like we currently do with the type of revenue we generate and the amount of money coming in yearly from Diasporas. As bad as we are as a society with TRUST (or lack of), at least the masses know if they work for the Civil Service, they’ll get paid most of the times. So Mr. Sanusi, the next time you are going to make such a bold statement about firing of workers, please think a little of the big problem/big picture. Another which is the lack of Trust in the system. It comes from poverty ridden minds. That’s why our former leaders and so-called billionaires need to stash money in foreign accounts. I’m sad to say that most of the monies are unaccounted for when theses thieves die. Most of their families don’t know where all their loot is stashed and even if they knew, would not have the proof to claim their father’s loot.

    Perhaps it is easy for me to criticize this one public utter of yours. However, I have read some good speeches from you when you talked against the thieves, some of them your friends that put you in office. Nevertheless, it would be unkind of me not to leave you with some change or loan you some advice. I would argue that your team at CBN can also do more with less. That would be a start – looking inward. I’m sure you are asking yourself how can you? Good question. Well, I suggest you create a “Think Tank” within CBN and work with the list of billionaires we have in the country that have more than $1 billion dollars in a foreign account to create projects at home and help drive down unemployment.

    Please contact me through this forum if you want more information on what this “Think Tank” should look like and how MY IDEA can be implemented.

  2. Sanusi lamido is very correct

    But the Federal GOvt should start from him

    And collect also all the money he has collected since he gets to office

  3. Does Gov Uduaghan expect better from a man who does not even know ow much a litre of fuel costs, yet he is driven about in free car evryday. He is gradually becoming a nuisance.

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