True to the Federal Government’s determination to cut government expenditure and reduce wastage, the federal Government plans a 65 per cent reduction in the allowances for refreshment and meals of top officials.
This falls in line with strategies aimed at reducing the recurrent expenditure as well as curb wastage in the management of government resources.
Allowances To Be Reviewed
According to the Efficiency Unit in the Ministry of Finance, reports say the proposal for the reduction in meal allowances had been forwarded to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for ratification.
According to sources familiar with the workings of the unit, a reduction of about N8,500 per meal is being considered by the unit from the current N13,000 to about N4,500.
It was gathered that apart from the reduction in meal allowances, other recurrent expenditure items such as honorarium and sitting allowance as well as advertising and publicity would be drastically reduced.
President Muhammadu Buhari had as part of measures to cut cost of governance, approved that the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun set up an efficiency unit.
Sources close to the unit say they have in the last few months been working hard to cut the recurrent expenditure.
One of the recent recommendations made by the unit is on the need to reduce allowances for meals and refreshment for public officers.
In the past, about N13,000 per meal was being spent on each top official of government during official meetings and other engagements. Now, plans are underway to reduce this to about N4,500 by the template being developed by the Efficiency Unit for that purpose.
Members of the unit expressed concern that meal and refreshment allowances had featured consistently in the budget of several Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The unit had in a statement issued last month barred all top officials of government from flying first class while embarking on officials trips.
It said all top officials of government such as ministers, permanent secretaries, chairmen of Federal Government committees, as well as chairmen and chief executive officers of parastatals and agencies should henceforth travel on business class.