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Stop Running To Buhari For Bailouts, Downsize Your Workforce – Okupe Tells Governors

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, May 03, (THEWILL) – Senior Special Assistant to then President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe has suggested that instead of continually running to the federal government for bailouts, state governments should immediately start the process of downsizing their workforce with reasonable cushions for those who will be affected.

In a statement issued on Monday, Okupe said: “In recent times, state governors in Nigeria have unanimously approached President Muhammadu Buhari for financial assistance for them to meet up with their obligations especially the payment of workers' salaries. They came severally with caps in hand and have received assistance sought on about two occasions.''

While reminding the governors of the basic economic dictum that “if expenditure cannot be controlled, then internal demands must be curtailed,” he observed that it was some state governors that forced the hands of his then principal to share and more or less deplete the savings in the Excess Crude Account.

Okupe observed that it is becoming clearer and certain by the day that unless a miracle happen many states will be unable to meet up with their financial obligations and may actually face imminent bankruptcy if the economic situation in the country worsens.

His statement reads, “Virtually all state governments in the country have over bloated civil service. At some point between 2008 and 2009, Ogun state received N2b monthly from the federation account and paid out N1.8b as staff salaries, wages and overhead costs!!!! The total staff strength was about 50,000 while the population of the state was about 5,000,000.

“An obvious socio economic absurdity and incongruity therefore existed where 10 per cent of the population was consuming 90 per cent of the wealth of the state. We do not need a soothsayer or an economic guru to foretell that this is unsustainable. In many States the percentage of the resources of the state that is consumed by the civil service ranges between 70 per cent to 80 per cent by not more than 10 per cent of its population.''

“From time immemorial the economies of nations all over the world do go into recessions and more often not necessarily as a result of incompetence or lack of managerial capabilities of the administration that is in situ.”

The former presidential aide contended that what is different in the country's situation, particularly as it concerns the state governments is that the federal government appears to be dealing with the situation from the point of compassion.

“Economic situations are better approached from point of strategic policy options and fiscal management techniques rather than a 'father Xmas' disposition,'' he wrote.