By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has accused the federal government of giving in to the advice of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by accepting to implement the 2012 Steve Oronsaye report.
The union said that the IMF usually encouraged governments to implement public sector reforms tailored to reduce governments’ spending on welfare of its citizens in order to guarantee the repayment of loans it granted to them.
In a statement issued on yesterday by the General Secretary of NASU, Mr. Peters Adeyemi, the union said the decision to implement the report is a cover up to carry out retrenchment in some sections of the public service.
“We are convinced that the rush to implement the report is an attempt to fulfill the conditions the IMF extracted from the federal government as an eligibility requirement to obtain the recent loans the institution granted the federal government.
“We in NASU see the decision to implement the Report as a licence and cover to carry out retrenchment in some sections of the public service and this is not acceptable to the Union. “The policy direction, which is ill-timed, is another attempt by the advisers and drivers of the policy to pitch the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari against workers and their unions. It is going to bring about job losses and poverty and this is not the time to throw people into the over-saturated unemployment market,” NASU said.
The union warned that it would be unacceptable for government to implement any policy could threaten the security of jobs and entrench poverty.
It insisted that the government knew what to do to cut the cost of its bureaucracy without implementing the recommendations in the report.
It reminded government to follow due process since the agencies were created by law.
The Oronsaye report had recommended the scrapping, abolition and mergers of some government’s departments in order to reduce cost of governance.
However, NASU attributed high cost of governance in Nigeria to the bloated salaries and allowances of political office holders, adding that there was duplication of functions among these officials.
“We call on the government to jettison the advice of putting the jobs of workers in the affected agencies in jeopardy through the implementation of the report as it will put more families and households on the poverty line. On the other hand, if the government must go ahead with the policy, its implementation must be transparent from the planning to the implementation stages.
“This can only happen by bringing on board critical stakeholders, especially trade unions that represent workers in the affected institutions,” it said.