FG To Save N19bn From Travel, Sitting Allowances | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FG To Save N19bn From Travel, Sitting Allowances

Posted: Oct 14, 2016 at 4:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Isuma Mark

Abuja – The Federal Government is putting measures in place to cut costs associated with traveling and sitting allowances to N19 billion.

Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja while speaking at a Cost Management Workshop for Permanent Secretaries and CEOs of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

She disclosed that the difficult economic situation informed a situation the government had to cut travel, printing, and other expenses it can do without.

“The efficiency unit was established in 2015 as one of the reform programmes of the present administration to ensure effective management of the nation’s financial resources,” she said, adding that it was aimed at achieving a “more appropriate balance between capital and recurrent expenditure, value for money and eliminate wastage in government.”

She pointed out that “from recommendations made to the appropriate offices, three circulars have been issued to curtail expenditure on travel, sitting allowances and printing of various items.

“The full year potential savings based on the actual expenditure incurred for 2012 – 2014 are N13 billion and N1 billion for travel and sitting allowances, respectively.

“We have secured air travel discounts of seven percent to 50 percent from 19 local, regional and international airlines. This is expected to save the government over N5 billion per annum in air travel. Draft agreements with the airlines are being reviewed after which implementation of the discounts will become effective.

“The government has set out a clear strategy for resetting our economy. We have identified that under-investment in capital has restricted our growth and left us dependent on oil rather than exploiting other areas with potential. Those economies that have continued growing even in the downturn have been those with the most diverse revenue base,” the minister said.

Declaring the workshop open, Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, the Head of Service of the Federation, said the workshop was necessary at this time.

“The workshop is designed to give participants an overview of the cost management”, she said, adding that it would enable participants share some practical examples on how to weather through the adverse effects of the current harsh economic realities.

According to her, the search for solutions to the current economic quagmire necessitated the workshop, which is a veritable platform for top civil servants to brainstorm on best possible way to manage the limited financial resources at Federal Government’s disposal amidst numerous responsibilities.

“The overall purpose of our gathering today is to improve the efficient use of government resources, Oyo-Ita said.

She added that that is the ethos of the service “under my leadership to be EPIC that is efficient, productive, incorruptible and citizen-centered.”

She pointed out that the service has created a strategic plan covering 2016 and 2019 to develop enterprise culture and commercial orientation in the service.

The strategy “will transform the civil service from being perceived as a cost centre to revenue earners, enhance value for money in government expenditures, eliminate leakages and wastage in public financial procurement system. It will also ensure less dependence of MDAs on subversions from government,” she said.

Oyo-Ita said the initiative the service has begun “is ensuring that civil service and MDAs become idea generation powerhouses thus complementing the private sector in creating business opportunities. It will help civil servants become very knowledgeable in innovation and entrepreneurship, can translate ideas into business”.

She challenged civil servants to “become more innovative and deliver more by being more productive through the efficient use of resources.”

According to her, “We must never lose sight of the fact that with efficiency, we are not to do less but do more.”