The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has declared that he understands workers in the nation deserve an increase in salary.
Buhari however added that an increase in workers’ salaries can’t be accommodated in government spending at the moment due to dwindling resources available.
Naija News understands he made the submission on Friday based on a request by the Central Working Committee of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) who paid him a courtesy visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The Nigerian leader blamed issues such as crude oil theft, the Ukraine-Russia war, COVID-19, and the global economic downturn for the dwindling government resources which have in turn made it impossible to increase the salaries of workers for now.
The President however told the Central Working Committee of ASCSN that the request for restoration of the payment of gratuity to public service employees has been addressed in the 2004 Pension Reform Act.
According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, President Buhari said; “I wish to urge you to appreciate the revenue constraints being presently faced by government, which is caused mainly by the activities of unscrupulous citizens through the theft of our crude oil, a major contributor to our revenue base.
“This is compounded by global economic downturn as a result of the ongoing Russian – Ukrainian war, which has led to price increases not just in the costs of goods and services globally, but also in the transportation of these goods and services across the globe.
“You are also aware of the enormous burden placed on our finances by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Government Has Spent Heavily On Security
President Buhari observed that the need to spend so much on battling insecurity by purchasing equipment for the nation’s security forces has also affected the ability of the government to commit resources to other sectors.
He however expressed that the security investments are paying off and the military, as well as other security agencies, are winning the war against insurgents.
The Nigerian leader added that there are greater collaborations with neighbouring countries to combat the criminals troubling Nigeria.
He said, “Furthermore, let me note the significant investment we have had to make in security over the last seven years, which means other sectors of the economy have not been able to receive as much funding as we would have liked. Only when our country is secured, that we are able to proceed and take on other aspects of our economic challenges.”
“However, my confidence in the Nigerian Armed forces is unshaken, and I have tasked the Chief of Defense Staff and his service chiefs to take the war to these criminals who have made life difficult for many Nigerians.
“Recent reports have shown the message is now being heard and the dividends of our seven years of investments are now maturing. I implore our forces to continue with the current effort and determination until we rid our land of these miscreants.
“I also wish to reiterate that we will not allow a few criminals to have unfettered access to the nation’s crude oil supply hence I have directed our security agencies to speedily bring to a halt the activities of these vandals in the Niger Delta,.’
This article was originally published on Naija News