The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Thursday, said the ministry cannot afford to pay the N1.2 billion requested by its workers, while she confirmed that the Federal Government was already borrowing funds to be able to pay the N165 billion a month needed to cover civil service salaries.
Adeosun, in a statement in Abuja, after the meeting held with protesting workers of the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday, said she does not have any power to pay N1.2 billion, which was not in the budget of the Ministry.
According to her, all government departments currently face a very real squeeze in finances as the country grapples with the financial crisis inherited from previous administrations, adding also that the collective priority, therefore, must be on working together to get the whole economy back on its feet.
She stated that the most important thing for management and staff was to get a common understanding of what the government needed to do to regain financial stability.
She said she intend to work with staff of the Finance Ministry to see how, together, those plans could be implemented as quickly as possible, thereby stimulating growth within a new diversified economy.
She expressed understanding for the Ministry of Finance staff who felt they should get additional bonuses, based on their past dealings with the previous administration, while she pointed out that many people across the country were struggling to find work or losing their jobs, in addition to the fact that fellow civil servants in many states are not getting their salaries.