Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, says President Muhammadu Buhari has directed salaries committee to review payroll and number of agencies, to cut the cost of governance

Ahmed stated this at a ‘National Policy Dialogue on Corruption and Cost of Governance in Nigeria’, organised by the Independent Corrupt Practice Commission in Abuja.

“Mr President has directed that the salaries committee that I chair, work together with the head of service and other members of the committee to review the government pay rolls in terms of stepping down on cost.”

The government had approved a N13.88trn budget with a deficit of over N5.6trn.

She said agencies must come together to trim its cost amid the country’s dwindling revenue.

“Our budgets are filled year in year out with projects that we see over and over again and also projects that are not necessary.

She revealed that the FG will also review the number of government agencies in terms of their mandates and to look at how to merge the those with similar responsibilities.

The Chairman of the ICPC, Bolaji Owasanoye, said the cost of governance was the driver of corruption in Nigeria.

He said a critical area of concern was “payroll padding” and the “phenomenon of ghost workers.”

He also lamented the duplication of projects such as the constituency projects of lawmakers.

The ICPC boss said funding for such projects are usually released without any mechanism for monitoring and evaluation and reconciliation of the funding.

He said government would continue to streamline policy that would improve on revenue, eliminate corruption and improve the lives of the people.