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Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, says the federal government has no plan to lay off workers in the federal public service.

Speaking on NTA’s ‘Good Morning Nigeria’ programme on Thursday, the minister stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had repeatedly said that no worker would be sacked.

Ahmed explained that FG needs to review the number of its ministries, parastatals and agencies (MDAs) to reduce personnel costs and have more revenue for capital projects.

She, however, assured that such a review would not result in job losses in the public sector.

“Mr President doesn’t want to disengage staff. That is what he has directed from the beginning of his administration. He also directed that we pay salaries. The Federal Government has never failed in paying salaries and he said we must always pay pensions,” she said.

“So, he has been consistent in those directives, and we have followed those directives to the letter.”

Responding to a question on how the federal government would cut costs through the review exercise, the finance minister said, “Well, we do hope that at the end of the exercise, some agencies will be merged and it will cut down operational costs.”Advertisement

“And also we will be able to come up with incentive packages to retrain people and redeploy them in some areas where they are useful.

“For example, we still have a very high need for teachers so we can retrain people and send them to teach but also incentive packages to exit. Again, that is also money. If you want people to exit you have to pay them.

“That is an incentive package so that they can go. That is why it is taking a lot of time because it is not easy to decide on this.

“Everything centres on resources. We need resources, and if we had a lot of money, we would just give very beautiful incentive packages, and people would exit and go and start their businesses, and we would reduce the size of the personnel cost.”Advertisement

In November 2021, the federal government inaugurated two sub-committees on the implementation of the whitepaper on the restructuring of MDAs to reduce the cost of governance.

THE CABLE

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