by Nduka Chiejina,
The Federal Government says it has recorded N20 billion reduction in its monthly wage bill across Ministries Department and Agencies (MDAs).
Currently, the N165 billion monthly wage bill has now come down to N145 billion translating to N20 billion monthly savings.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse confirmed this in Abuja yesterday to reporters shortly after he declared open, a workshop on cost management organised for Directors and top civil servants of MDAs by the Efficiency Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Dr. Isa-Dutse said the feat was achieved with the assistance of the Presidential Committee on Audit of MDAs, “a committee saddled with the task of continuous auditing of MDA’s salaries and wage bills.”
The N20 billion savings he said is outside of another N15 billion saved from overheads and reduction in excessive foreign travels and other allowances through the work of the Efficiency Unit.
The permanent secretary said the administration is not only concerned about cutting cost of governance, but is interested in getting value for its funds.
“Though revenue has gone down, expenditure has not gone down and this is creating fiscal pressure. What we are doing is to look at ways we can generate more savings through efficient utilisation of funds while the savings realised through efficiency are channeled to funding infrastructure and social welfare spending.
“Beyond efficient utilisation of funds, government also needs to look at the component of the expenditure to make sure spending aligns with priority areas to enable it get value for money,” he said.
Speaking on the need for the workshop, Isa-Dutse said: ”The workshop is a cost management workshop organised for the Directors of MDAs, centered on how we should manage government’s funds better. As you all know, due to sharp decline in government revenue, we must manage our purse more efficiently.”
The workshop he added aims to generate awareness among directors in civil service to be “conscious of the problems and what we need to do to solve the problems.”
Earlier in her remarks, the Head of Efficiency Unit of Federal Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Patience Oniha disclosed said with the creation of the Unit last year, over N15 billion has been saved on sub-heads and reduction in trips. She added that a lot of funds would be saved by consciously eliminating wastage of government resources