Rep. Kuye stressed that dealing with the issue of ghost workers has become imperative as revenues cannot continue to pay salaries and other recurrent expenditures when there are still humongous debt servicing obligations to be dealt with.
The House of Representatives has directed the Federal Government to carry out a forensic audit of its staff to address the issue of ghost workers to save money and reduce the increasing wage bill.
It also urged the Federal Government to embark on cost-cutting measures to reduce other non-debt recurrent expenditures.
The directive is contained in a motion on the “Need to Investigate the Nation’s Galloping Non-Debt Recurrent Expenditure” brought by Rep. Ademorin A. Kuye, (APC, Lagos).
Kuye noted that Federal Government personnel expenses, pensions, and other non-debt recurrent expenditures increased by 241% in 13 years from N2.4 trillion in 2011 to N8,27 trillion in 2023.
He also noted that the total non-debt expenditure from 2011 to 2023 is N51.97 trillion while N42.24 trillion expended from 2015 till date represents 81.8% of the total expenditures of the period under review.
According to him, “the country’s revenue within the period received massive hits from debt servicing obligations, the government has little or nothing left for the recurrent expenditures and has resorted to borrowing.
“The debt servicing obligations gulped 97 percent of the total revenue of the N3.42 trillion generated in 2011, Nigeria expended N3.34 trillion on debt servicing, meaning all Federal Government’s salaries, overhead and Capital Expenditure was financed with loans and Central Bank of Nigerian support.”
The lawmaker further noted the country’s revenues of N3.42trillion in 2020, N4.39trillion in 2021, and N7trillion in 2022 could hardly fund the wage bill of N5.7trillion, N5.76trillion and N7.1 trillion in 2020, 2021 and 2022 respectively.
“The Federal Government wage bill, pension obligations, and other non-debt recurrent expenditures continue to grow significantly, despite the marginal increases in revenues and apparent increases in debt servicing pressure.
“The sharp difference in the wage bill from N2.4 trillion in 2011 and N8.7 trillion in 2023 in a country of 113 million people living in multidimensional poverty is alarming and unjustifiable.”
Kuye further explained that despite the present administration’s economic restructuring policies, revenues cannot continue to pay salaries and other recurrent expenditures when there are still humongous debt servicing obligations to be taken care of.
The House consequently mandated the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure implementation.