BY MARK ITSIBOR, Abuja
Minister of finance, budget and national planning Zainab Ahmed has said the federal government is not thinking of cutting wages, rather, it is mulling salary harmonisation. The minister made in the statement in reaction to reports – quoting her as saying yesterday – that the federal government was going to reduce salaries of civil servants.
The finance minister said the salary harmonisation is against the backdrop of the fact that there are some government agencies paying much higher salaries than others for staff on the same grade level.
,”Therefore, the government, is seeking more of pay parity,” she said in a statement that was issued by her spokesman, Yunusa Abdullahi. According to the statement, Ahmed made the claim at the ongoing ‘National Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Cost of Governance in Nigeria’ organised by the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission (ICPC) in Abuja on Tuesday that the President had directed the salaries committee to review payroll and also review the number of agencies.
“What government hopes to achieve is to redistribute wages equally across board. Let us bring our salary structure within government agencies as close or as equitable and fair.
“what we seek to achieve is to create fairness and equity and to reduce cost” With this readjustment, when finally done, workers in the public service will earn a fair and equitable wages,” she said.
“We still see government expenditure increase to a terrain twice higher than our revenue,” Ahmed said.
The government had approved a N13.88trillion budget with a deficit of over N5.6trillion, and projected a revenue of N7.98trillion to fund part of the 2021 budget. The minister urged that all agencies must come together to trim their costs, given Nigeria’s dwindling revenue.