Nigerian Govt. To Create Two-year National Action Plan

Criminal CasesThe Federal Government of Nigeria has announced plans to create a two-year national action plan aimed at promoting good governance and transparency in the management of public funds across all sectors.

At a media roundtable on Open Government Partnership in Abuja on Friday, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, says the Federal Government is committed to joining the global initiative known as the Open Government Partnership.

The Open Government Partnership is a multi-stakeholder initiative focused on improving government transparency, accountability and responsiveness to citizens through technology and innovation.

The administration of Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated its commitment to stifling corruption in the nation, which the President said would kill Nigeria if not killed.

After coming into office, President Buhari ordered that all government revenue should be credited to a Treasury Single Account to enable government keep track of its revenue.

As part of the efforts to further plug leakages, President Buhari nearly one year ago, approved the establishment of an Efficiency Unit (E-UNIT) in the Federal Ministry of Finance to ensure effective management of Nigeria’s economy and reduce cost of governance.

The principal objective of the Efficiency Unit is to ensure that all government expenditure is necessary and represents the best possible value for money.

At the time of establishment of the unit, the oil-rich nation’s recurrent expenditure completely dwarfs capital expenditure by a ratio of 84/16.

This includes non-wage related overhead expenditure such as travel costs, entertainment, events, printing, IT consumables and stationeries among others.

As at September 2015, the entire capital expenditure was just 194 billion Naira while overhead expenditure was 272 billion Naira.

Nigeria’s economy is in recession and transparency in the management of public funds would help the government ensure that funds are properly utilised.

Payroll Has Gone Down By 6.6bn Naira – Adeosun

Minister-of-Finance-Mrs-Kemi-Adeosun-PayrollThe Federal Government says it has saved 6.6 billion Naira on its payroll since November 2015.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, made the claim on Monday while giving a brief on the activities of the Efficiency Unit (E-UNIT) approved by President Muhammadu Buhari last November.

“On salaries, we’ve cleaned our payroll. As at last week, we had reduced our payroll amount by 6.6 billion Naira between when I started work in November and today.”

Cutting Cost

Speaking on Sunrise Daily, Mrs Adeosun told Nigerians to expect more civil servant protests, saying that the workers were reacting to government’s unpopular decisions.

She restated the government’s commitment to cutting cost of running the affairs of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

“By the nature of the job at the moment, I am cutting cost, I am taking people off the payroll (and) I am reviewing projects.”

The Finance Minister added that the implementation of the policy was across board (at both lower and higher cadre of the public sector), saying it would be unfair if it affects the junior workers only.

FG To Generate Over N4 Billion Savings On Annual Travel Costs

Kemi-Adeosun-finance-ministerThe Federal Ministry of Finance has disclosed that discussions with local and international airlines to secure discounts for travel by government officials are yielding positive results.

This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser on Media to Minister of Finance, Mr Festus Akanbi, on Tuesday.

The statement added that “a review of Government overhead expenditure for the period 2012 to 2014 showed that travel was the largest single expenditure item.

“A cumulative total of N248 billion, equivalent to about 18% of total overhead expenditure, was spent on travel during the period.

“This translates to N83 billion per annum. At a conservative discount of 5% on ticket prices, the estimated savings per annum is approximately N4 billion”, it said.

The Ministry explained that given the large amount spent on travel, and consequently the significant potential for savings, “it is imperative that the Efficiency Unit prioritises travel as a key focus area for cost cutting and generation of savings.

“To this end the Efficiency Unit has engaged in negotiation discussions with local and international airlines for discounts commensurate with the large number of ticket purchases made by Government annually. The savings generated will increase funding available to the government for capital investment”.

The Ministry reiterated its commitment to cut costs and promote fiscal prudence and acknowledged the willingness of Arik Air to provide discounts on tickets purchased by the Government.

In addition to reducing government spend on travel, the Efficiency Unit has made proposals to the appropriate government authorities for the introduction of guidelines that will reduce the need for travel by localising the activities that necessitate travel, where feasible, and encouraging the use of ICT.

Other overhead expenditure items including insurance, advertising and fuel, where the government’s bargaining power can be leveraged are also being reviewed.

It further noted that administrative controls are being strengthened through the issuance of circulars detailing appropriate guidelines and the implementation of measures to enforce compliance.

FG To Introduce Procurement Guidelines

external reserves-procurementsThe Federal Ministry of Finance has announced plans to introduce price guidelines for procurement purposes by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Having reviewed the overhead expenditure data of the MDAs from 2012 to 2014, the unit found that cumulative expenditure on items purchased was 825 billion Naira.

According to the head of the unit, Mrs Patience Oniha, the figure represents 61% of the cumulative total overhead expenditure of 1.35 billion Naira for the period.

In order to cut costs on recurrent expenditure, Mrs Oniha said that the efficiency unit of the Ministry would introduce ministerial debit cards to the MDAs to monitor procurement and expenses.

FG Establishes Efficiency Unit To Cut Cost Of Governance

Muhammadu-Buhari-Nigeria-PresidentPresident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of an Efficiency Unit (E-UNIT) in the Federal Ministry of Finance to ensure effective management of Nigeria’s economy and reduce cost of governance.

The principal objective of the Efficiency Unit is to ensure that all government expenditure is necessary and represents the best possible value for money.

Presently, the oil-rich nation’s recurrent expenditure completely dwarfs capital expenditure by a ratio of 84/16.

This includes non-wage related overhead expenditure such as travel costs, entertainment, events, printing, IT consumables and stationeries among others.

As at September 2015, the entire capital expenditure was just 194 billion Naira while overhead expenditure was 272 billion Naira.

Eliminate Wasteful Spending

A statement by the Presidency said the scenario was considered unsustainable and at variance with the current administration’s resolve to reform the economy and reduce the cost of governance.

According to the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, the Efficiency Unit will undertake programmed reviews of all government overhead expenditure with a view to reducing wastage, promoting efficiency and ensuring quantifiable savings for the country.

“Specifically, the Efficiency Unit will work across all MDAs to identify and eliminate wasteful spending, duplication and other inefficiencies; identify best practices in procurement and financial management and share such knowledge to ensure its adoption.

“Findings of the Efficiency Unit will be formally communicated accordingly and will be enforced through establishment of expenditure guidelines, undertaking follow-up reviews, spot checks and other measures that will ultimately checkmate wastages across all areas of federal government expenditure,” she said.

Supervising Committee

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance is to inaugurate the Supervising Committee for the establishment of the Efficiency Unit in Abuja on Monday, November 30, 2015 at 10 am.

The Committee, to be chaired by the Finance Minister, has members drawn from both public and private sector.

The Project Leader is Ms Patience Oniha, a highly experienced Banker and Chartered Accountant, with thirty (30) years experience in financial sector. She had worked with Ecobank Nigeria, Standard Chartered Bank, KPMG and is currently a Director in the Debt Management Office (DMO).

Other members of the Committee include Head of Service of the Federation, Accountant-General of the Federation, Auditor-General of the Federation and Director, Budget Office of the Federation. Members drawn from the private sector include Mr Kabir Mohammed, former ICAN President; Mr Kunle Elebute, (Partner KPMG) and Ms Seyi Kumapayi, Chief Financial Officer Access Bank.

Members of the Supervising Committee have agreed to donate their time without fee as their contribution to making government more efficient.