The public outcry has escalated as Nigerians express their anger and concern over the staggering N8.6 billion budget set aside for the salaries and allowances of the newly appointed 48 ministers in President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration. The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) disclosed that these payments would be drawn from the nation’s limited financial resources over a four-year period.
The report from RMAFC has raised alarm bells among citizens, who worry that this figure might escalate further over time. Many are criticizing the decision, particularly in light of the promises made by the current administration to reduce governance costs and improve living standards for the people.
The controversy centers on the fact that this revelation comes at a time when the Nigerian government is grappling with economic challenges and increasing debt. Critics argue that President Tinubu should have emulated the example of previous leaders, such as former President Goodluck Jonathan, who appointed fewer ministers during more economically stable times.
Legal expert Mr. Marcellus Onah suggested that the president should have reduced the number of ministers to match Jonathan’s 33, freeing up significant funds that could be used to address other pressing national issues. Additionally, some are calling for the government to revisit the report on civil service reform submitted by Stephen Oronsaye in 2011, which proposed the merger and reduction of various government entities as a means of saving money.
As the controversy intensifies, experts are urging the government to consider implementing some of the recommendations from the Oronsaye report, pointing out that it could result in significant savings for the nation. With the ongoing economic challenges and mounting debt, citizens are calling for prudent financial management and a commitment to reducing unnecessary expenses.
While some argue that the number of ministers is a constitutional matter, others counter that it’s crucial for the government to consider the prevailing economic conditions. The sentiment is that the current economic difficulties demand a more cautious approach, and that appointing 48 ministers sends the wrong message to a population already grappling with financial hardships.
The debate over the size of the cabinet and its implications for the economy is gaining momentum, with various stakeholders emphasizing the need for responsible fiscal management and a more streamlined government structure that aligns with the nation’s economic realities.