- Post 26 December 2012
- Last Updated on 26 December 2012
- By Femi Ajayi
Unfortunately, Nigerian Labor Union leaders always misconstrue any policy its members are very selfish about not clearing reading the handwriting on the wall especially each time some real facts are relayed to them through any legitimate devices. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi is not crazy when he vomited that the Nigeria government must reduce its work-force by 50% to create room for progress and quality services to the people. While the Nigeria Labor Union is yelling for his removal as CBN Governor.
A necessary step to keep companies afloat in difficult economic times, reducing workforce costs is often the last-ditch. If it's not handled right, though, it can make an already difficult situation even worse. Nigeria is at that point in time when something has to be done to its inherently lazy unproductive workforce in the civil service.
It is obvious, as noticeable across the layers of the Nigerian Governments, that the country runs humongous Governments of unproductive employees that match McGregor Theory X, that a typical Nigerian Civil Servant is inherently lazy and will avoid work if they can and that they inherently dislike work. According to this theory, employees will show little ambition without an enticing incentive program and will avoid responsibility whenever they can. Instead for them to provide services to their communities, they spend it on their personal private individual businesses, or spend most time on office gossip, rumor mongering, or union matters with little time on their legitimate work. Ironically whenever the Management of Government officials wants to implement polices, they rely heavily on threats and coercion through their Unions, preventing the policy to gain their employee's compliance. In the past, Sanusi has processed the country through his unofficial policies, the Bank Drainers and Killers, the National Assembly salaries and perks, and Boko Haram.
Beliefs of this theory lead to mistrust, highly restrictive supervision, and a punitive atmosphere. The Theory X manager tends to believe that everything must end in blaming someone. He or she thinks all prospective employees are only out for themselves. Usually these managers feel the sole purpose of the employee's interest in the job is money. They will blame the person first in most situations, without questioning whether it may be the system, policy, or lack of training that deserves the blame. A Theory X manager believes that his or her employees do not really want to work, that they would rather avoid responsibility and that it is the manager's job to structure the work and energize the employee. Unlike Theory Y, when management assumes employees may be ambitious and self-motivated and exercise self-control. It is believed that employees enjoy their mental and physical work duties.
Theory X and Theory Y are theories of human motivation created and developed by Douglas McGregor at the MIT Sloan School of Management in the 1960s that have been used in human resource management, organizational behavior, organizational communication and organizational development. They describe two contrasting models of workforce motivation. For McGregor, Theory X and Y are not different ends of the same continuum. Rather they are two different continua in themselves. Thus, if managers need to apply Theory Y principles, that does not preclude them from being a part of Theory X & Y.
When Sanusi mentioned that, the government should embark on the reduction of the staff by 50%, the untactful Labor Union engaged in foul play and expecting the government to fire him. The chorus labor union that ought to be crying for the reduction of the humongous salaries of the National Assembly always love to sing their praises for the best reason known to them.. Possibly, when it is reduced their left-over professionals in the civil service would refuse to allow the government to deduct their union fees directly from their salaries, which will spell doom on the operations of the Labor Unions as they are currently enjoying the free money to launch their attacks on the government.
Nigeria runs too BIG Government and for progress to ensue in the country the pruning of government work force MUST start with the Legislatures across the government, Federal, State, and Local Governments. Sanusi is on the right track in advising the government on its public policy making process. He is acting as a citizen, an agency, private and public contributor to the policy making process in Nigeria.
Staff reduction in Nigeria should start with the National Assembly, the State Assemblies, and the Local Government Councils. The 1999 Nigeria Constitution creates too many political offices which gulp lots of public funds in salaries and emoluments. Nigeria does not need the multitude at the National Assembly with three Senators per State, which could be pruned to two, to carry on their legislative responsibilities. Members of the House of Representatives are the real consumers of the Nigeria revenue; possibly another incubator of Corruption, hiding under the heavy salaries and the illegal allowances arrogated to them as they refused to establish laws that would curtail that as they are filthily involved in the process of making it impossible to get some projects off the ground.
At the State level, the members of the State Assembly should be trimmed as well; and seat for not more than three months in a year; paid by the number of days within the three months they met. It goes down to the Local Government where the Chairperson could be full time and the Council deliberations would be once a week and paid only the seating allowances
Nigeria has 774 local governments with its Chairperson, deputy, with at least 10 councils with three aides. Nigerians are still clamouring for States to increase further the cost of governance. There will also additional Commissioners legislators, special advisers, and assistants. Unfortunately, the NLC and TUC are not reading the handwriting on the wall how big government cripples the Nigeria economy.
The additional states with additional governors, doubling the officials like the Commissioners, Legislators with a chain of special advisers, special assistants, and possibly doubling the Local Government officials, retinue of aides without any means of generating enough revenue to manage the affairs of the Local Government, will create more hardship or most Nigerians to continue waxing in abject poverty.
What is logic behind appointing one Minister per State? Should the government continue to waste the meagre resources just in the name of the Federal Character? Clamouring for more States without thinking of how to sustain it is suicidal. It makes a mockery of the mental state of mind of an average Nigerian. What type of work would these ministers do and at what level do we measure their productivity in the community
Regrettably, a Nigerian senator earns more in Salary than President Barack Hussein Obama of the United States of America, and David Cameron of the United Kingdom. The president of the United States takes home an annual salary of $400,000 (N64.156, 0m), including a $50,000 expense allowance making the president the highest paid public servant in the US. The $400,000 includes everything and $350,000 out of it is taxable. An Indian lawmaker must work for at least 49 years to earn the annual salary of a Nigerian senator.
In the United States, while the minimum wage is $1,257 (N191, 667), a US lawmaker earns $15,080 (N2.3m) per month. In the United Kingdom, a lawmaker earns $8,686(N1.3m) monthly while the gross national minimum wage is $1,883 (N283, 333) per month. In addition, Nigerian lawmakers earn higher than their counterparts in Sweden. With a monthly pay of $7,707 (N1.2m), a lawmaker in Sweden will need to work for over 12 years to equal what a Nigerian senator earns per annum.
A Nigerian senator's annual salary is over N182 million multiply by 109 senators. Senate President David Mark alone takes N250 million quarterly or N83.33 million per month. Senate Deputy President Ike Ekweremadu gets N150 million per quarter or N50 million a month. Mark and Ekweremadu earns in 4 months, six times what the UK Prime Minister earns in a year. David Cameron goes home with £190,000 per annum (N43, 700,000).
In addition to the regular and legitimate salaries and allowances of over N17 million ($113,333) and N14.99 million ($99,933) which senators and representatives were collecting yearly and the irregular allowance of estacodes, duty tours among others, they were also collecting over N192m ($1.28m) and N140m ($0.93m) respectively in illicit quarterly allocation which is not provided for by RMAFC. Effectively, a Nigerian senator was taking home at least $1.40m ($1.28m quarterly allocations in addition to $0.113m regular salaries and allowances) as against the $0.174m an American senator takes home; hence, a Nigerian senator earns at least 8 times as much as an American senator and more than 3 times the American president. The status of their 5-month-old pregnancy shows. In other words, a Federal Legislator in Nigeria is paid more than double, what a member of British Parliament earns per annum.
Even though the public service is meant to provide services without making any profit. That is not to say that government cannot make profit, they are primarily set up to provide services for the citizens. The mental laziness of the players Nigeria big government is of great concern to an average Nigerian which translates into inadequate services from the executors of the dishonest government programs, with too many hands on what a single individual can do. Even though a school of thought might argue that, some technical sectors are overworked, while general areas where not too technical education is required for the job could be considered too large. That means the majority of the public workers are under-utilized, that is still agreeing that they are too many chasing very minimal work to be done.
The issue of the Federal Character recruiting specific number of candidates from each area is creating heavy challenges to the big government without considering the merit side of it in most of the Federal employment, regardless the qualification of the candidates. That is the crux of the Theory X of McGregor. Individuals in such category will definitely have nothing to motivate them to be productive. Nothing in whatever is assigned will yield any dividend for the sector they work for.
A typical example of the impact of the Federal Character this may have on the services was the refusal of the Chief Justice of the Federation to administer the oath to office to a female Judge in Abia State, for the reason that she is from Anambra State, while her husband is from Abia State. In California, Bunmi Awoniyi, a Female Nigerian Family Law Attorney, was appointed as one of the Judges in California. It is a demonstration how United States have metamorphosed from its Affirmative Policy. Other nationals would have similar stories to tell on the subjects as I was the first Black and 'Foreigner' to occupy a sensitive position in the Office of Secretary of State, Atlanta, Georgia before my exit, which was based on Merit.
It is silly and completely insane to expend 70% of its revenue for the Civil Servants; some states spend up to 80% of their budget on recurrent expenditure, on less than 5% of Nigerian workforce to service the government, leaving just 30% for meaningful development and for the remaining 90-95% of the population, are not enough for any infrastructural development. The same dishonest freeloading politicians and their civil servant collaborators will even steal most of the remaining 20-30%. Little wonder most Nigerian roads are death traps, clinics or hospitals are hospice centers, homes are prison yards since armed robbers would not let them have peace in their comfortable homes, reducing the average life span of an average Nigeria to just 48.3 years; while feeding the family for the 3 square meals a day is a luxury;. Water supply that ought to be easily accessible is becoming a luxury in the communities, and education could be too fanciful for a sector across the country. The players and actors in the government need some serious reduction for the sake of tomorrow.
Shrinking the Nigeria civil service work force by 50% will also enhance the productivity and better services for the country and ideal for the country. Possibly Jonathan would be too scared of doing that just like my State Governor then chicken out then. If Nigeria is serious about this economic crunch, something drastic must be done about the work force. It was the exact statement I made when there was an opportunity for me to be part of a State administration in 2004. The message was not clear as to how it would be done. That was not to be done over night, at the end the workforce would have been reduced by 50%.
There are definitely some government agencies that are not necessary and could be done away with; such as National Hajj Commission, a secular country setting-up a commission to oversee Hajj Operations. The government has no business in establishing National Hajj Commission or Jerusalem Commission, what about Okija Commission; Government Arabic Colleges sponsored by the government at the expense of Government of Ogun Shrine College. The foreign religions have been divisive as their need and promotion by the government is unintelligent.
Other agencies should be restructured like SSS, FRSC, NDLEA, Civil Defense, and the Nigeria Police. NCC could be merged with the Nigeria Satellite Communication; EFCC could be merged with ICPC. In the Nigerian Universities, streamlining the Faculty and Departments are equally necessary. Every academic wants to be a dean or head of department. In August, the Oronsaye-led presidential committee recommended the reduction of statutory agencies of government from 263 to 161; abolition of 32 government agencies and merger of 53 others.
Before you consider a workforce reduction, institute a hiring freeze: Freeze Salary and Benefit Increases, you may let Contract and Temporary employees go where visible, Incentivize employees to leave: voluntary layoffs, buyouts, early retirement, Ask employees to take voluntary layoffs, offer a sum of money to end the employment relationship, or offer early retirement to eligible employees, Take advantage of normal employee attrition.
In every organization, employees leave; plan to save some costs as employees resign. Reasons range from a significant other's job change, to family matters and new career opportunities. A voluntary quit may allow you to restructure your work flow. You may be able to transfer employees to different jobs. Only critical, essential positions should be filled. Keep in mind that in tough economic times, your attrition rate will likely slow.
Make reduction decisions on clear, consistent, and transparent criteria. Keep the highest-performing employees who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the success of the organization. Treat people right, effectively communicate the new vision, the succession planning. Learn from the experience. Other ways to keep costs down in a tough economy, is to reassign responsibilities when no hiring is possible,
A furlough, which is an alternative to layoffs, could be applied. In a mandatory furlough, employees take unpaid or partially paid time off of work for periods of time ranging from weeks to a year. It includes closing a business for two weeks, reducing employee time on the job to three weeks a month instead of four, and asking employees to take two days a month off without pay.
The government should apply various approaches in this process, not just lay people off without appropriate programs for them. The government must come up with alternatives to layoffs, layoffs and downsizing, downsizing survivors, law suit avoidance, employment laws. You may need to take action with regard to your largest expense, although also the most important investment and asset of your business - the people you employ.
The Nigeria Labour Congress should be cautious and well educated that when you have unproductive employees, cumulated with their corrupt appetite, the promotion of mediocrity band sectionalism instead of merit, it kills any progressive growth of any organization, hence the economic woes of the country. It is not the firing of whosoever is in charge of the economic or financial institutions in Nigeria, but by reducing the huge cost of the personnel of about 32% of the budget cost of governance. Nature abhors a vacuum. Ironically, if all those who can effect any change resign from Govt what will leave with us? If all the `good' people stay away from governance, `all' the place will be filled by all the `bad' people.
An average Nigerian loves luxury like any other human beings as whenever they have the opportunity they will shop till they drop. Not just shopping but shop for the best. Hence, the foreign goods keep on finding their ways to the country including USED items up to human beings. Ironically, both Islam Mecca and Christian Jerusalem have been turned into tourism as shown by the number of arrests deviated from the purpose of going to Mecca and Jerusalem.
Reducing the Nigerian public service workforce will obviously exposed thousands of ghost workers in each State, Local Government and some Nigerian public institutions with their bogus certificates from out of space schools.
Professor Femi Ajayi is Head, Political Science and Public Administration Department, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State