The Muhammdu Buhari Government has denied plans to relieve some federal workers of their jobs.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, made the denial on Thursday in an interview on an NTA programme, Good Morning Nigeria.
Naija News reports that Ahmed was reacting to reports that the government was set to reduce its workforce in order to save funds.
Reports emerged on Wednesday that the minister said the government is working on an “exit package” to be paid to those that will be affected.
Debunking the reports, Ahmed said President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that no civil servant should be dismissed, adding that he has been consistent in those directives.
The minister added that the President has directed salaries and pensions be paid timely and that no worker should be owed.
She said: “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.
“So, he has been consistent in those directives and we have followed those directives to the letter.”
Ahmed said the government would cut personnel costs by encouraging people to leave government jobs and giving them incentives.
The minister added that the government would reduce overheads by ensuring that government agencies are merged.
She said, “Well, we do hope that at the end of the exercise, some agencies will be merged and it will cut down operational costs.
“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.”
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