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Senate flays FG over embargo on employment, amid soaring wage bill

By Odita Sunday and John Akubo, Abuja
22 October 2021   |   3:10 am
The Senate, yesterday, took a swipe at the Federal Government for placing an embargo on employment, even as recurrent expenditure continues to soar yearly.

Mohammed Ali Ndume<br />

Committee promises adequate funding for police operations

The Senate, yesterday, took a swipe at the Federal Government for placing an embargo on employment, even as recurrent expenditure continues to soar yearly.

This was as Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) threatened to leave the country if relevant authorities fail to defuse the ticking time bomb.

Senate’s disposition against the embargo on employment and rise in recurrent expenditure was prompted by submissions made by the Chairman of National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Mr. Ekpo Nta, before the Senate Committee on Establishment.

Nta’s inability to tell the committee the number of salaries and wages the Federal Government pays its workforce, yearly, infuriated members of the Committee, who wondered why recurrent expenditure in yearly budgets is not decreasing on account of the embargo at various agencies.

Senator Ndume said: “A time bomb is ticking because of the doors shut against millions of youths seeking employment. Making it worrisome is the fact that despite the policy, since 2018 till now, recurrent expenditure components of yearly budgets have been increasing.

“In 2018, it was N3.5 trillion, N4 trillion in 2019, N4.5 trillion in 2020, N5.6 trillion 2021 and N6.83 trillion in the projected N16.39 trillion 2022 budget. It is bad for recurrent expenditure to be increasing on yearly basis without an increase in the number of workforces through required recruitments.”

The senator added: “The embargo is turning to a time bomb that can explode at anytime, as witnessed in some countries in recent past. Personally, I’m already thinking of where to run to if the avoidable crisis is not averted.”

Other members of the committee like Suleiman Kwari (APC, Kaduna North), Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP, Ondo Central) and the Chairman of the committee, Ibrahim Shekarau (APC, Kano North), aligned themselves with Ndume’s

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Police Affairs, Haliru Dauda Jika, and other members of the Committee have assured that adequate funds would be made available for operations of the Nigeria Police Force in the 2022 budget.

Jika gave the assurance in a speech at the end of an interactive meeting of the Committee with Inspector General of Police (IGP) Usman Alkali Baba and other members of the police management team, yesterday.

In a remark, the IGP, represented by Deputy Inspector General, Joseph Egbunike, said the visitation by the Committee to Force Headquarters would help to address the lingering security issue in Nigeria.

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