Samuel A. Caulcrick
Published by Gianni-Sam Nigeria Ltd 19/09/2019

The system of administration of our community, local, state, and federal is the government. The legislature, executive and judiciary make up the government. A Government enforces organisational policies and the mechanism that determines policy. Each government’s governing philosophy and principle is in a statement policy, which is a kind of constitution. While the philosophy, chosen, is some balance between individual rights and absolute state authority, the welfare of all is the ultimate expectation. A government would strive to make some people well off without making other people worse off.

Government spending is structured and budgeted. It is money spent by the public sector on the acquisition of goods and provision of services. Education, healthcare, the security of the society, public consumption and public investment, transfer payments such as income transfers, etc., are a few examples. This government expenditure is crucial as it determines the changes in the level of national income. It provides the precise needs for potential output and sustains the welfare of the economy. The government expenditure on goods and services, therefore, is contributive to the productive potential of the economy.

Is your government, in its expenditure, expanding or shrinking employment opportunities in your local government, state government or federal government? Those in government are already in employment as civil servants, technocrats, security personnel and politicians. In terms of jobs, they are well-off, and their expenditures should not make others worse-off like shrinking employment opportunities for the rest of society. There is a component of labour in goods and services procured by public spending. If that labour component on any item or services is foreign, it shrinks the employment opportunities in that area of influence of the government. Similarly, if the labour contents on each item purchased for official use are local, it expands employment opportunities to the people.

Those in public service are not under a gun to their head to serve. They should make do with locally made products, while in service, for official use. It, however, does not preclude them living like a king outside of public service if they have their private means and they so wish. It is pertinent to note that apart from helping to grow the economy by government prioritising locally produced goods and services, it eases the tension in the land. It gives a broader chance for people to be in gainful employment through the patronage of public expenditure. It also opens up competition within the geographical entity as competitors vie for a share in government spending by upping the quality of their goods and services. What about those already in employment? Expanding job opportunities in a country is the best job security for everybody.

Does that leave the welfare of those in a trade or government contractor? No, it does not because their services are essential within the economy. The trader can partake of the patronage of public expenditure provided the labour components in whatever they intend to offer the government has a substantial level of local labour content. In the case of Nigeria, it must be made-in-Nigeria, if only to appeal to their patriotism. Every imported or smuggled item supplied for public use is contributive to shrinking employment opportunities in any country, mainly, if funded by public expenditure. Besides, it impacts negatively in a general term on the local currency, since the labour components in the making of these goods are costed in forex. The components making up an item bought for use consist of raw materials, machinery, energy used, and labour. Each of these components is costed. The theme of this writeup is the labour content on an item purchased for public use.

Globally, the economy currently is the most significant concern and unemployment a ticking bomb. One way to mitigate this is for public expenditure to support job opportunities and not necessarily to ask for government employment. The government is the biggest single spender in any economy, and its expenditure philosophy must expand opportunities for a significant number of people. Today in Nigeria, due to structural flaws, the public service consumes 70% of the allocated resources contained in government expenditure through salaries and overheads. The civil servants’ constitutional rights guarantee the right to spend their emoluments as they wish. The public services’ overheads should not shrink opportunities in society. It should be a catalyst to grow the economy by patriotic patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods. On this note, there is a need for unemployed to join the call. It is to create an enabling environment for the prospect of getting a job through government expenditure and reduce supporting foreign job contents in government spendings.


Samuel Akinyele Caulcrick
Author: Power In Nigeria

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