The federal government has assured civil servants that the rationalisation of government agencies won’t lead to job losses.
The government’s clarification was made after fear gripped civil servants over comments by the minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the commencement of the initiative.
In an interview with Leadership newspaper on Friday, April 30, the special adviser on media and communications to the minister, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, said downsizing had never been the priority of the Buhari administration from inception till date.
A comment by the minister of finance had triggered panic among government workers over the plans to trim down agencies
His words: “The two arms will have to come up with a white paper on it but before then the status quo stands. There is no law that says when you merge you will lay off staff. Laying off of staff has not featured in the minister’s presentation now or at any time.”
He confirmed that the president has approved that his administration should implement the recommendations of the Oronsaye report. The 800-page Oronsaye-led committee report that was presented to the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan is centred on restructuring and rationalisation of federal government parastatals, commissions and agencies with a focus on cutting the cost of governance.
Abdullahi said: “The Oronsaye report is a report that has reviewed the whole size of government and has made significant recommendations in terms of trimming and that is reducing the number of agencies and that would mean merging some agencies together. “And this is a report that has been in place for a long time but hasn’t been implemented but the president has approved that it should be implemented and we have conveyed Mr President’s approval to the arm of government that is responsible for this and that will be the office of SGF and the office of the Head of Service of the federation.”