The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has called for the sack of Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Director General of Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogu, over their statements that the civil service consumes 37 per cent of recurrent expenditure of the country’s annual Federal Budget.
The union insisted that the statement was untrue and challenged the Finance ministry and Budget Office to publish the salaries and emoluments of all public servants, detailing what each Ministry, Department and Agencies (MDAs) spends monthly as salary,
“President Goodluck Jonathan should do well to sack these failed experts who espouse outdated theories borrowed from the archives of equally expired neo-liberal Bretton Woods Institutions (the World Bank and the IMF) which have ruined the economies of most developing and even European countries. The sooner he dispenses with their services, the better for his Administration and the country,” the union stressed.
The union said it was worried by the glaring incompetence of both Okonjo-Iweala and Okogu and called on President Jonathan to relieve the duo of their duties before they completely damage the image of his administration.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, the union expressed surprise that the finance minister and the DG, Budget Office do not know the difference between the civil service and the public service, adding that “for the avoidance of doubt, the federal civil service is made up of about 100,000 employees while the enlarged public service has a staff strength of 870,000.”
It explained that: “The enlarged Public Service embraces the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, Customs, Immigration, NAFDAC, EFCC, ICPC, Universities, Federal Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, Central Bank, NNPC, BPE, among others.
The ASCSN also challenged Okogu to explain to Nigerians how $49.8billion worth of crude oil money disappeared and how the country’s foreign reserves was depleted by $1.5 billion within few weeks.
“It is not really surprising that Okogu spoke in the manner he did because he is in a comfort zone where he is feeding fat on free public fund at his disposal. Indeed, what Okogu and the Finance minister should do is to give Nigerians details of what each MDA spends monthly as salary, the humongous emoluments of National Assembly members, the salaries and allowances paid to the retinue of political office holders such as special, senior, junior, and ordinary advisers, special assistants, senior assistants and consultants.
It argued that the salaries and emoluments of politicians and political office holders far outweigh what the civil servants receive.
“The emoluments of National Assembly members and the salaries and allowances paid to political office holders are indeed huge,” the statement said.
It further accused the DG, Budget Office of using the claim to prepare ground for rationalisation of workers in the civil service, warning that the labour movement will not stand and “allow innocent workers to bear the brunt of the financial mismanagement and recklessness of the greedy few whose quest for primitive accumulation of wealth is insatiable”.
It lamented that due to the incompetence of the Finance Minister and the Director-General, Budget Office, thousands of civil servants in 44 MDAs and their families spent the 2013 Christmas in hunger as they were not paid their December 2013 salaries until mid-January 2014, noting that thousands of others were still being owed their remunerations since July 2013.