Kalu Idika Kalu, Nigeria’s former minister of finance, has urged the federal government to focus more on trimming down the size of government instead of increasing the salaries of political appointees.
The 83-year-old finance expert and former presidential aspirant under the platform of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) in the 2003 presidential election was reacting to rumours that made the rounds early in the week about a purported plan of the federal government to implement a 114 percent increase in the salaries of political appointees and judicial officers.
Kalu, not impressed with the unfortunate rumour, expressed his concern and advice on Arise Television News Night on Friday. The former transportation minister, credited with some major reforms during his time as a cabinet member, urged the President Bola Tinubu administration to concentrate more on cutting down the size of government.
“The question I would like to address is that reducing the cost of governance should be one of the top priorities of this government,” Kalu Said.
With the mountain of challenges facing the country, Kalu advised that the government should focus on addressing some of the important areas of the economy that can have a greater impact on the generality of Nigerians.
“We have so many areas that need investment, from power to water to transportation to housing to health, we need huge expenditures here—we have no padding up of perquisites in terms of monuments, housing allowances, car allocations, etc.,” he added.
The former finance minister, happy that the information handlers of the president had debunked the salary increase rumour, advised the government to stay focused on delivering impactful governance by focusing on cutting down the size of government.
“I think I have had a rebuttal already from the people who handled his information that that is not the case; nobody’s has approved any new salaries. but I think it is a very important question.
“Because you are looking at priorities for the public sector and trimming down the facts, you will guess that this is not exactly something they have not thought of before.
“What people expect of this government is to trim down the size of government in every way,” he said.