Cutting governance cost will not solve Nigera’s revenue problem, says Akabueze
Director-General of the budget office, Ben Akabueze has stated that cutting budget allocations to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) will not have a significant impact on Nigeria’s revenue.
This statement was made on Tuesday by the DG of budget office at the presentation of the World Bank’s latest report titled “Nigerian Development Update: Resilience through Reforms.” in Abuja.
According to Akabueze, allocations to the legislature account for less than one percent of the total budget for the year 2021 and as such, lowering them won’t resolve revenue problems.
“When people say drop cost, look at the cost profile of the federal government for instance, what do you want to drop?” he asked.
“Some people have said that we pay the legislature too much. Let’s concede that that is the case; the total budget of the national assembly is N128 billion. If I make that zero, this year we have a N13.6 trillion budget; so, N128bn is less than one percent. So, how does that move the needle?
“Also, the overhead budget for all federal government agencies this year was N425bn, which often is not even funded; if I make that zero, what does it do?”
On public servants, he said the public service was not bloated as the total number of government workers was small when compared to the country’s overall population.
“Again, if you think the public service is bloated, it is not true; if you take the total number of public servants relative to our population size, it is not much. Public service wages are very low,” Akabueze said.
The budget office DG said the challenge of the civil service was that there were too many people in the wrong jobs and too few people in the right jobs, adding that the federal government was working to address the issue.
He further suggested that the country could achieve revenue growth by getting rising of all regressive subsidies.