Expert advocates institutionalisation of national pay policy
Until Nigeria developed a national pay policy that is dependent on the income of government, sustainable development may continue to elude the country, pioneer Director-General, Bureau for Public Service Reform (BPSR), Dr Goke Adegoroye, has said.He argued that government must balance its revenues between development and overhead spending.
Adegoroye insisted that government must not only pay salaries that it can afford, but that which must not arrest the development of the country. He explained: “The right thing that should have been done is for us to have a national pay policy. The policy should be anchored on the duties of government such as provision of security, development for the citizens and so on. The question is, do we really have enough to provide these things? We do not have good roads, schools, and infrastructure. Salaries therefore can only be paid within what government has.”
He argued that the national pay policy would engender a balance in government spending across board, saying: “the national pay policy should make a balance such that the development and security should not take less than 50 per cent of our budget. About 50 per cent should be for overhead and salaries. In fact, salaries should not take more than half of the remaining 50 per cent. In essence, salary actually should not be more than 25 per cent of the budget.”
Adegoroye also blamed the over-bloating of the civil service on politicians that often embarked on unchecked employment once ascending political power.He added: “In so many of the ministries, immediately a Minister is appointed, he adds so many people from his place to the government workforce. The pressure is much on them due to unemployment, where they recruit people they don’t even need.”
As the agitation for the negotiation for the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage continues to rage, Adegoroye urged labour to be fair and prosecute their quest in line with Nigeria’s economic sustainability.He added: “I feel pained that labour is not carrying their agitation on the basis of sustainable development. They think only of themselves. They don’t even realise what is in the Constitution. The Constitution says you shall provide equa opportunities for employment for every Nigerian. In that section is the principle of intergenerational equity.
“In same way people are talking about human right, in this kind of case, we need to say the right of Nigeria should be the right of labour. Therefore, when you are talking about any pay, you must also recognise other things begging for attention in Nigeria.”
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