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Yar’Adua to workers: no cars, overseas training

Posted by From Dele Anofi, Abuja on 2009/01/04 | Views: 854 |

Yar’Adua to workers: no cars, overseas training

President Umaru Yar’Adua has placed a two-year ban on procurement of new vehicles and suspended foreign training for civil servants, as his administration’s austerity measures take off.

President Umaru Yar’Adua has placed a two-year ban on procurement of new vehicles and suspended foreign training for civil servants, as his administration’s austerity measures take off.
A circular from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), which The Nation obtained at the weekend, said the measures were introduced to save costs in this fiscal year.

Besides, the President is said to have approved the establishment of a 2009 Budget Implementation Monitoring Committee.

On October 20, last year, The Nation exclusively reported the introduction of some austerity measures in the budget for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

The measures cover:

•deferment of procurement of new vehicles;

•stoppage of construction of acquisition of new office buildings;

•banning of purchase of new furniture; and

•reduction of allowances for foreign trips for the President and all public officers by 50 per cent.

In the circular sent to all MDAs, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), among others, SGF Ahmed Yayale said the global financial crisis dictated that certain austerity measures be put in place.

The December 4, 2008 circular reads: "You are not unaware of the global financial crisis which, coupled with the volatility and decline in prices of oil, has significantly reduced the amount of revenue available to government for developmental purposes.

"These economic and fiscal challenges call for greater prudence in the management of finances and resources by all MDAs.

"Accordingly, Mr. President has directed that from the fiscal year of 2009, the following cost-saving measures should be adopted:

•No new vehicles will be purchased for the next two fiscal years;

•No construction, acquisition or purchase of new buildings will be provided for;

•No provision for furnishing and equipment should be made;

•International travel and transport should be reduced by at least 50 per cent;

•International management training courses suspended. Local Management and Capacity building institutions may be patronised to provide this service;

•Local travel is to be reduced by at least 25 per cent;

•E-payment system for all payments is now mandatory;

•Efficiency savings should be obtained by reviewing rationalising arrangements for insurance, internet service and other overhead items expenses.

"To effect these and other measures, Mr. President has approved the establishment of a Presidential Committee to monitor the implementation of the 2009 budget of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including those not funded from the Budget.

"Mr. President has also directed that the application of these measures is to be closely monitored by this office and the Ministry of Finance."

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