Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Doyin Okupe's advice to Nigerian governors: The sure way from bailout is by reducing workforce


Former Senior Special Assistant to Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has called on governors to reduce their workforce instead of begging for bailouts from the Federal Government.

He said it was becoming clearer everyday that the governors would not be able to meet the financial needs of their states with dwindling revenue accruing to them from the Federation Account.

Okupe, in a statement he signed in Abuja in Monday, said that it was becoming clearer that many states would be unable to meet up with their financial obligations now and that they might actually face imminent bankruptcy if the economic situation in the country worsens.

Ironically, he said it was the governors who didn’t allow former President Jonathan to save money for the raining days from the Excess Crude Account while in government.

Okupe said that all state governments have over bloated civil service and that the governors must trim them immediately.

But he suggested that the 20-30 per cent of the workforce to be sacked must be paid three years in lieu of notice.

He said, “Firstly, virtually all state governments in the country have over bloated civil service.

“At some point between 2008 and 2009, Ogun state received N2b monthly from the federation account and paid out N1.8b as staff salaries, wages and overhead costs!

“The total staff strength was about 50,000 while the population of the state was about 5,000,000.

“An obvious socio economic absurdity and incongruity therefore existed where 10 percent of the population was consuming 90 percent of the wealth of the state. “

Okupe added, “We do not need a soothsayer or an economic guru to foretell that this is unsustainable. In many States the percentage of the resources of the state that is consumed by the civil service ranges between 70 per cent to 80 per cent by not more than 10 per cent of its population.

“A basic economic dictum says ‘if expenditure cannot be controlled, then internal demands must be curtailed’.

“Without doubt therefore, all state governments must immediately start the process of downsizing their workforce with reasonable cushions for those who will be affected.”

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