The Governor of the apex Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has called for the sack of 50% of the nation’s public servants as part of measures aimed at cutting the cost of running government and freeing up resources for development.
Speaking at a public forum in Warri in Nigeria’s southern Delta State, Mr. Lamido said Nigeria cannot build its economy when 70 per cent of its earning is spent on salaries and entitlements of civil servants.
He also called for similar measures to reduce the cost of running government
“At the moment, 70 per cent of Federal Government’s revenue goes for payment of salaries and entitlement of civil servants, leaving 30 percent 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 government has 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 local media Wednesday quoted him as saying .
The CBN Governor also called for a rethink on the country’s bicameral legislature as well as the number of states and local governments.
”The country does not need over 100 senators and about 400 representatives to make laws…Do we need 774 local governments, do we need 36 states some of which are unviable? Why not just remove them and have only state governments?
“There are state governors whose monthly allocation is 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 money to pay salaries and wait for another month’s allocation and
pay salaries and after four years, you would have done nothing,” he said.
Mr. Sanusi’s statement is sure to re-ignite the debate on the high cost of running government, amidst collapsing infrastructure and falling living standards in Africa’s top oil producing nation.