‘I get frightened’ — Tinubu moves to digitalise ‘bloated’ civil service payroll


President Bola Tinubu has expressed his readiness to incorporate technology into public service administration.


According to a statement issued by Ajuri Ngelale, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, Tinubu spoke on Monday while receiving Andres Arroyo, vice-president of Oracle, a computer technology company, at the State House.

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The president noted that technology helps to ensure that data from public institutions are accurate and transparent as well as aid accountability.

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The statement said Tinubu’s enthusiasm was spurred by a collaboration between the government of Nigeria and Oracle, seeking to reform the country’s civil service and data management sector.

The president said Oracle’s proven success in the automation of the Lagos payroll system during his tenure as the governor of the state would help to ensure enhanced ease of doing business and digital innovation.


He added that it would also lead to effective identity management, efficient payroll administration, and qualitative citizen-centred service delivery

“I have tested Oracle and it has worked for our success. In Lagos State, what we did in effective collaboration with you, has been copied across the states of the Federation,” the statement quoted Tinubu as saying.

“We can only build our institutions with accurate data and cutting-edge data management capabilities that are reliable and effective. We can only rely upon our human resources for excellent service delivery to Nigerians if they are well-trained and ready to learn. 

“The transfer of knowledge is essential for our nation and the continent. In this government, we believe that the only way to build our country is a bottom-up approach and from one single sheet of paper, we can create an end-to-end solution for public administration that will rid our service of its worst tendencies in favour of effectiveness and reliability.”  

The president also expressed concern about the country’s “bloated” civil service payroll at the national and sub-national levels, noting that the wage bill consumes a large proportion of the country’s revenue.

“Each time they give me the payroll number, I get so frightened. Where am I going to get the capital to develop the infrastructure we desperately require if the payroll of 1% – 2% of the population is consuming all the revenue?” the statement quoted Tinubu as saying.

“I think we need a tight technological control that can check and balance all necessary control points of our transaction processes. I’m looking forward to working with Oracle because I have the belief and confidence that you can do it as you have in the past.”

On his part, Arroyo, Oracle’s vice president, applauded Tinubu for putting the interest of Nigerians at the forefront of the collaboration.

He assured that the partnership would ensure a smoother operation of the country’s affairs while achieving macroeconomic visibility.

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