In line with the current administration’s resolve to institute reform policies that will ensure effective management of the nation’s economy and reduce cost of governance, President Buhari has approved the establishment of an Efficiency Unit (E-UNIT) in the Federal Ministry of Finance. The principal objective of the Efficiency Unit is to ensure that all government expenditure is necessary and represents the best possible value for money.
Available records have confirmed that presently, the 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, stationeries etc. As at September 2015, the entire capital expenditure was just N194bn while overhead expenditure was N272bn. This scenario is considered unsustainable and at variance with the current administration’s resolve to reform the economy and reduce the cost of governance.
While inaugurating the Steering Committee for the proper take-off of the Unit in Abuja last week Monday, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, explained that the Unit would undertake programmed reviews of all government overhead expenditure with a view to reducing wastage, promoting efficiency and ensuring quantifiable savings for the country. Specifically, she said the Unit would 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 always 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”.
The newly inaugurated Steering 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 Alhaji Kabir Mohammed, former ICAN President; Mr. Kunle Elebute, (Partner KPMG) and Ms Seyi Kumapayi, Chief Financial Officer, Access Bank. Members of the Committee have agreed to donate their time without fee as their contribution to making government more efficient.