By Amara Christa
The Federal Government has placed embargo on all recruitments into its civil service. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this while speaking with journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday.
She said the federal government would continue to pay salaries and would not sack workers but place embargo on recruitment exercises and replacement. “On recruitment, there is already an instruction to stop recruitment. What the agencies have been doing is replacement but even that is being suspended. When things improve, we will go back to the issue of recruitment. But for now, our wage bill is already very high.
“The president has directed that salaries and pensions must be paid unfailingly. So, we are not looking at downsizing in anyway. We are maintaining our workforce as it is. But we are just stopping the increase in the size of the nominal roll,” the minister said.
Mrs. Ahmed also spoke on a number of measures approved by the FEC to cushion the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the nation’s economy. She said it included the introduction of PMS price modulation mechanism, the cutting down on the size of the federally funded upstream projects of the petroleum sector, and the reduction of the crude oil price from the $57 per barrel budgeted to $30. The measures also included the amendment of budget projections so that the Medium Term Expenditure Framework reflects the current realities, the cutting down of expenditures, the enhancement of production at the minimum 2.18 million barrels, the adjustment of customs revenue, the review of the modalities for the implementation of the social investment programme and the non-essential tax waivers to realize more revenue.