The Federal Government is set to reduce its workforce, The Nation report.
It is designing what it calls an exit package for government workers that will be leaving the service.
According to the Nation, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said reducing the size of government has become imperative given the huge amount the government spends on recurrent expenditure annually.
Some Federal Government workers will lose their jobs when agencies are merged.
The government’s mode of reducing the workforce, the minister said, will not entirely be in line with the Stephen Oronsaye report but based on a committee recommendation.
According to her, the government is working on an “exit package” to be paid to those that will be affected.
Mrs Ahmed said: “There is a special committee led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) that is working on the review of agencies with the view to collapsing them partly using the Oransanye report.
“At the end of it what we want to do is to reduce the size of government and also to reduce the size of personnel cost and part of it will be designing the exit packages that are realistic”.
The reason for the planned merger of agencies, the finance minister, said is because “we are revenue-challenged”.
But Labour unions have called for caution as the Federal Government hints at a plan to reduce the workforce because of dwindling revenue.
The unions asked the Federal Government to ensure that those who would be affected by the downsising be paid their full entitlements.
Presidents of two Federal Workers’ unions who spoke with our correspondent are Comrade Lawrence Amaechi, President, Nigeria Civil Service Union and President, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Dr Tommy Okon.
In separate interviews, Amaechi said his union would monitor the implementation of the White Paper of the Oronsaye Committee report.
He said: “Before they implement they will put us in their committee and if we are satisfied that Mr A must go, where is his cheque?
“If at the time of implementation we are satisfied that Mr A must go we will ask where is his cheque? Is it complete? Give it to him and he will go and better his life.
“The Oronsaye committee white paper has long been gazetted. At this point we cannot stop it. It is just to follow the implementation; how it will not affect our workers badly.
“When the implementation starts we will know how to fight it.”
On his part, President, ASCSN, Dr Okon, said the union’s position on the planned retrenchment would be made public after meeting its organs.
Okon said: “We have to meet as a Congress and take a decision that will be all encompassing. I cannot speak on the position yet until we meet. Once we meet then we will make our position known.