Ben Akabueze, director-general of the budget office of the federation, has disclosed that Nigeria’s cost of governance is more than infrastructure.
Akabueze explained that the country’s high recurrent expenditure has constrained investment in capital projects meant to improve the standard of living.
The budget DG who disclosed this during a virtual presentation on Tuesday, May 4, said that Nigeria’s current spending structure is unsustainable.
He added that low revenue collection and high recurrent costs have resulted in actual capital expenditure below N2 trillion ($4.88 billion) a year for a decade.
Akabueze explained further that recurrent spending, allocated towards salaries and running costs, has accounted for more than 75 percent of the public budget every year since 2011.
According to him, “Hence, the investments required to bridge the infrastructure gap are way beyond the means available to the government.
“Huge recurrent expenditure has constrained the provision of good roads, steady power supply, health care services, quality education and quality shelter.”
Akabueze, however, called for a return to the regional government, saying the constitution should be amended to create six regions to replace the existing 36 states.
The DG stated that there is a need for the reduction of ministers to a maximum of 24 while federal ministries should be reduced to less than 20.
According to him, “No country can develop where a large part of its earnings is spent on administrative structures rather than on capital investment.”
Techeconomy.ng earlier reported that the federal government has directed the National Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission (NSIWC) to review salaries of civil servants and some federal agencies.
Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, disclosed this at a policy dialogue on corruption and cost of governance in Nigeria, organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) in Abuja on Tuesday, May 4.
Ahmed, however, asked all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government to come together to cut the cost of governance amid dwindling revenue.