Labour cautions FG against retrenchment

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

CITING ongoing staff auditing in the Federal Civil Service, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has urged the federal government not to use the opportunity of the exercise to send thousands of workers into the already saturated labour market.

In a Statement issued in Lagos, the ASCSN National President, Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and the Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal, recalled that one of the cardinal campaign promises of President Muhamadu Buhari’s party was that it was going to create employment for millions of jobless Nigerians.
The statement said: “Even in a recent retreat organized by the Federal Government for Ministers-designate, President Muhammadu Buhari re-emphasized the commitment of his administration to diversify the economy, upgrade infrastructure, and generate employment opportunities for the teeming jobless citizens.

“We, therefore, urge the Government to invest more energy in these areas to revitalize the economy instead of toeing the old pattern of resorting to retrenchment of civil servants once there is a minor hiccup in the economy,”said the union.

According to the ASCSN chieftains, the staff strength in the core civil service is less than 100,000 while that of the entire public service including the civil service is about 870,000.

The union argued that these also include the Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, Custom, Immigration, Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, National Agency for FOOD, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

The union said: “For a population of 180 million people, this is certainly insignificant when it is considered that employment generation and other welfare programmes for the citizens are part of Government’s responsibility. It is just a mere 0.48 per cent of the entire population.

“Besides, Ghana with a population of about 25 million has a public service of 500,000 (2 per cent) while South Africa with a population of about 52 million has a public workforce of about 1.3 million (2.5per cent).”

The ASCSN leaders also recalled that when Barack Obama assumed office as the President of the United States of America in 2008, the economy was in doldrums but within a short period of time, he reinvigorated the economy not by retrenching workers but by creating millions of new jobs using realistic monetary cum robust fiscal policies.

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