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The boat is sinking, Nigerian states on autopilot

By Ademola H Adigun
Many states and the Federal Government are in that sinking boat. States struggle to pay salaries, owe arrears but will not make decisions that are tough. The FG has not remitted pensions in many months. The wage bill is spiralling out of control. Our earnings are used to pay salaries and dig boreholes, thanks to our Senators.

The sinking boat, Nigerian states on autopilot
The sinking boat, Nigerian states on autopilot

It is a tough decision to make, to let go of workers in a period like this. The same workers will not take a pay cut. The same workers are largely unproductive for many reasons, not always of their making. We have a civil and public service that can operate with less than a third of current capacity. Yet hiring continues.

Letting workers go, has cost implications. You must pay gratuities and such. There is a pension cost as well. But the boat is sinking.

There is also the other side. Many state economies are civil service dependent. In an era of recession, you want people to spend. Spend means people must earn. Earn means there must be jobs. It is a tricky conundrum. Yet the boat is sinking.

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When a boat is sinking, a captain must make decisions on people to throw overboard if weight is a contributor for the sinking ship. You start with the weakest, the most unlikely to survive and all that. It is a hard decision.

The boat is sinking here. Paying salaries is not enough. We must think of the future. How long can bail outs continue? How long can we spend 80% of our revenue on less than 10% of our population?

The boat is sinking from load. We go on and ignore the problem. Paris Club refunds go into salaries. Rightly so. They worked and deserve their pay. Where is the next refund coming from?

The boat is sinking. There is fire on our fiscal mountain. We have no fire curtailing strategies. Something must be done. Otherwise we all perish.

Is there anyone driving his economy or are we on autopilot? The boat is sinking. We must not all drown.

Hard decisions requires decisive leadership.

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