The Federal Government has been advised to cut down on the number of political aides especially at both the executive and legislative arms of the government as a means of cutting cost in the country instead of imposing unnecessary austerity measures on Nigerians.
This advice was given by the President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Comrade Francis Johnson who argued that the huge number of political appointees as aides to the Presidency, the ministers, state governors and their commissioners are simply wasting of national resources and putting pressure on the economy.
PENGASSAN president also cautioned the Federal Government, especially the Federal Ministry of Finance against stifling the economy through withholding of funds for human and developmental projects but to tighten the noose around all avenues of leakages and wastages.
He stated that instead of the government to introduce austerity measures that will further impoverish and inflict more pains on the people, the governments should consider reducing to the barest minimum the numbers of senior special advisers, special advisers, advisers and other aides that are attached to the presidency, the ministers, governors as well as members of the National Assembly and state houses of assembly.
“The cost of governance in Nigeria is too high and irrational and if we are looking for ways to cut cost, I think the first place to exemplarily focus on is in the direction of reducing the numbers of political appointees to the barest minimum. The huge amount we spend in paying these aides can be used on developmental projects and boosting of the nation’s economy
“The governors, ministers and federal and state legislators should also be made to reduce their aides to a sizeable number that our economy can bear and whatever is gotten from this exercise should be used in supporting and bolstering the economy,” he said.
The union leader also called on the Federal Government to develop other sectors along with the extractive and manufacturing industries as a way of diversifying the national economy from its over dependence on oil revenue.
According to the PENGASSAN President, it is only the development of the other minerals, agricultural and the manufacturing sectors that could help Nigeria to escape the vagaries of the challenges pose by the dwindling global oil price, especially as our agrarian potentials are being left under-utilised.
Comrade Johnson noted that the price of oil is critical to the world economy, given that oil is the largest internationally traded commodity both in volume and value terms, adding that only oil is linked to some.