The Federal Government would not encourage premature retirements of Civil Servants as being insinuated in some quarters, PRNigeria learnt.
The Nigerian Governors’ Forum recently called for the sack of Federal Government workers above 50 years old.
The Governors, at a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, advised the Federal Government to offer Federal Civil Servants “above 50 years of age, a one-off retirement package to exit the Service”.
They also proposed that the Federal Government should begin the implementation of the Stephen Oronsaye Report, which suggested merger and shutdown of agencies and parastatals with duplicated or contested functions.
The suggestions, according to the Governors, are cost cutting measures to save the nation from impending economic doldrums.
A credible Presidency source told PRNigeria that the Federal Government would never contemplate such move because the “Conditions of Service” for Federal Civil Servants is very clear on retirement age.
The source, who craved anonymity, said: “As a first major cost-cutting step, the Governors, who, mostly, rely on monthly subvention from the Federation Account, should replicate the above-suggested measures in their various states as a demonstration of their commitment to the growth and development of the nation.
“They should start by pruning their over-bloated workforce with a view to saving cost.
“It is a universal truism that ‘charity begins at home’.
“It may also interest the NGF to know that their suggestion of retiring Civil Servants will, rather than solve the problem, compound it.
“Have they thought of the numbers that are above 50 and computed their retirement packages?
“How can a government, in dire need of funds, undertake such an economic enterprise?”
Meanwhile, PRNigeria gathered that the present staff strength of Federal Ministries is 66,460 as opposed to 89,000 being quoted in some quarters.
The annual wage bill for these core Ministries is about N924 billion annually, while the totality of the wage bill for other agencies of the Federal Government is N2.3 trillion.
The Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, where the Human Resource component of the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System is domiciled, has completed staff verification exercise, which began with the core Ministries, non-core MDAs in the FCT and eventually ended with those in the six geopolitical zones recently.
This verification exercise has gone a long way in saving the Federal Government huge revenue as a result of flushing out those with fake Appointment Letters, as well as ghost workers from the platform.
The Office ought to be commended for this laudable cost-cutting initiative.
Speaking on the Stephen Oronsaye Committee’s report, another source noted that arising from the recommendations of the said Committee, the Federal Government set up two Committees to look into the findings and make further suggestions, while the other looked at Agencies created after the submission of the Oronsaye Report.
He said: “The two Committees have already submitted their reports, arising from which a select Committee was, again set up, to come up with a White Paper for consideration, as well as approval.
“Nigerians are anxiously awaiting its outcome.”