The President Muhammadu Buhari led government has moved to block leakages in Government expenditure by banning the distribution of souvenirs at government functions.
The banned items include bags, T-shirts, books funded by Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
In a statement on Sunday in Abuja by the Director of Information, Federal Ministry of Finance, Salisu Dambatta, said President Buhari bans these items on the approval and recommendations of the Efficiency Unit.
According to the statement, the ban was in continuation of the on-going cost-cutting and efficiency drive in the utilization of public funds by the present administration.
President Buhari had set up the Efficiency Unit within the public service to eliminate wastage and accumulate quantifiable savings for the country.
The Minister of Finance, Head of Service of the Federation, Accountant-General of the Federation, Auditor-General of the Federation and Director, Budget Office of the Federation are members of the Unit.
The Unit identified procurement as the area to begin the execution of its mandate of reducing overhead costs and wastage resources.
The Efficiency unit had already recorded success in cutting government overhead cost in areas such as travels, welfare, honorarium, sitting allowance, training and adverts.
“The directive which is a recognition of the fact that in a period of lean financial resources unnecessary expenditure on overheads such souvenirs are luxuries that the government must eliminate.”
“This will enable release of funds for infrastructure and services such as health and education that would have direct positive impact on the well being of the citizenry and promote economic development.”
“The directive also contained specific guidelines that would reduce the cost of printing Invitation Cards, Programme of events, Brochures, Folders and Note Pads.”
“Among the guidelines are that they should be in black and white and limited to only one page and in the case of Brochures they should be streamlined to contain only essential information.”
Also, the statement said the printing of unnecessary publications and books of short shelf life which have no real value to the concerned public institutions or the citizens has also been banned.