Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

FG To Scrap 220 Agencies, Parastatals, Etc

FG To Scrap 220 Agencies, Parastatals, Etc

(By Victor Osakwe)

In June this year, it was reported widely in Nigerian newspapers that the federal government of President Goodluck Jonathan was planning to scrap 220 of its agencies, parastatals and commission (Leadership newspaper, June 15, 2013). This is in line the recommendation of the Steve Oronsaye led committee on restructuring and rationalization of federal parastatals. According to the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati: “the who exercise is to ensure efficiency, reduce the cost of government, avoid leakages and wastages and to make government far more effective in delivering quality service to Nigerians”.

The truth is that government wants to throw workers into the employment market. This is despite the fact that it has been reported that over 40 million Nigerians are unemployed (official figure of government). It is absurd that the government, whose top functionaries pay themselves jumbo salaries and allowances for essentially doing nothing in addition to monumental wastages in the name of official functions, thinks that it is workers in the civil service that constitute drain on the country’s resources

No doubt it is the political office holders are responsible for consuming a large chunk of the budget in Nigeria. It is not the workers, both at the federal, state and local government that are responsible for the over-bloated budgets year in year out by politicians of various shades in the governments at all levels. The fact is that the government wants to sack workers in order to have more to loot.

Besides, it is bewildering to claim that the reduction of the workforce can create efficiency. By cutting down the number of workers, it means less workers to do the work and therefore more work for less workers.

The labour union led by the NLC and the TUC should therefore be prepared to oppose the planned retrenchment that will follow. They should begin the sensitization of other workers and Nigerians over this and begin the mass mobilization of workers for a general strike because it will definitely affect a large number of workers. They should demand the government must reduce the outrageous pays of its top functionaries at all arms of the government to the average salaries in the civil service in order to cut the cost of governance and have more resources to provide decent jobs and infrastructure. In order to mitigate wastages and corrupt practices there must be democratic management and control of all parastatals, ministries, agencies and commissions by the workers who work there.