The Nigeria Labour Congress has urged the federal government to exercise “utmost care and sense of responsibility as the Federal Executive Council (FEC) commences the comprehensive review of the draft white paper on the Presidential Committee on the Rationalisation and Restructuring of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies, otherwise known as the Orosanye Committee.”
NLC in a statement by its President Abdulwahed Omar said “While government’s overriding interest is how much money it could save from this exercise, the Nigeria Labour Congress would have the government focus on the enthronement of transparency, competency and other time-honored values of service.”
He added that “Congress gives its unwavering support to the establishment of a functional and dynamic bureaucracy, capable of making the nation proud and believes this process can be achieved not through the mindless creation of a labour market crisis .
“A perfunctory audit will certainly reveal that workers’ salaries in these establishments constitute a negligible per cent age of their running costs. High cost of governance is made inevitable by grossly over bloated contracts, ridiculously high numbers of political appointees whose duties add little or no value to the system, weak internal governance structure and poor accountability” the NLC president said.
“In our view therefore, getting rid of corruption and investing in human capital development will help in no small way in realising this objective instead of “saving costs” as the primary objective.
“For the purpose of emphasis, there is no assurance that even if the parastatals were reduced to ten without demonstrable commitment to a noble philosophy or objectives capable of transforming the public service, that there would be a reduction in the running cost of government.
“Government, we believe, should also note that unlike the private sector, its primary objective is not profit.
“It’s penchant for ad-hoc-ism without regard for due process created the situation it has found itself. This exercise avails it the opportunity of redressing this wrong and restoring powers, resources, rhythm and functionality to ministries.
He added “Similarly, this exercise, the on-going constitutional review and specific efforts at remodelling the Revenue Mobilisation and Allocation Commission all provide the needed opportunity to abrogate the offensive disparity in wages between civil servants and political office holders who in spite of their advantages, always manage to arrange for themselves gratuity and pension when they are not deserving of any. They eat their cake and have it.
“In the end, we shall hold government by its promise that this exercise “is not targeted at pushing anybody out of work…”or ” … in making life difficult for anybody “.