Yesterday, the Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Public Service submitted its findings to the government with a revelation that the top echelon of the service take away up to N1.126 trillion yearly in salaries and allowances.
The Presidential Committee on the Review of the Reform Processes in the Nigerian Public Service, headed by former head of service Adamu Fika, also called for the abolition of the tenure system for directors and permanent secretaries.
Presenting the report to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim in Abuja, Fika said huge resources are being spent on salaries and allowances of holders of certain public offices who constitute only 0.013 percent Nigeria’s population.
He said in the perquisites approved for these officers by the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMFAC) with effect from July 2007, salaries and allowances shot up to N1.126 trillion.
"Of this, salaries took a mere N94.56 billion, while allowances gulped the whole of N1031.65 billion, which represented 91.56%," he said. "There is therefore a need to take a hard look at this glaring anomaly, where allowances are more than ten times greater than salaries.
"Such a re-examination is very necessary in the light of the fact that the total number of beneficiaries of the RMFAC largesse is only about 18, 000 officers, while the population of Nigeria then was estimated at 167 million."
"It is not morally defensible from the perspective of social justice or any known moral criterion that such a huge sum of public funds is consumed by an infinitesimal fraction of the people, which is less than 0.013% of the total population."
Fika did not mention the category of public officers who consume these salaries, but the constitution empowers RMAFC to fix pay packages for the President, Vice President, ministers, governors, commissioners, Federal and state legislators, senior Judiciary officers, as well as members of federal and state executive bodies.
On the controversial tenure policy initiated by then head of service Steve Oronsaye, Fika said it was introduced without any impact assessment study and has violated the rights of those affected based on their terms of engagement. He said the policy had depleted and deprived the service of some of the most competent and experienced hands as well as introduced a destabilising and rapid turnover of senior officers in the service.
"The committee therefore recommends that the tenure policy in the public service should be abrogated," he declared.
The committee also recommended ways to save the civil service from political interference.
But a splinter group from the committee submitted a minority report, saying they disagreed with the main committee on certain recommendations.
Receiving the two reports, Anyim said there was no problem in the members disagreeing and that government would consider both reports.
The original 16-member committee comprised Alhaji Adamu Fika (chairman), Mrs. Francesca Yetunde Emmanuel (vice chairperson), Mrs. Peres Ayoola, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo Umar, Ms. Ama Pepple, Mr. Steve Oronsaye, Alhaji Musa Magaji, Malam Abubakar Gimba, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Mrs. Ammuna Lawal-Ali, Mr. S.O. Adekunle, Dr. Sam Amadi, Prof. Murtala Balogun, Mr. Paul Ibeku, Deaconess J.O. Ayo and Dr. Tunji Olaopa (secretary).