The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, says the Federal Government now saves ₦15 billion annually since it created the Efficiency Unit (E-Unit) on November 25, 2015.
In a report highlighting activities of her Ministry from December 2015 till date, Adeosun said E-Unit was established to ensure that all government expenditures are necessary and represent the best possible value for money.
“Before now, available records show that the nation’s recurrent expenditure completely dwarfed capital expenditure by a ratio of 84/16.
“This includes non-wage related overhead expenditure such as travel costs, entertainment, events, printing, IT consumables and stationeries, among others. Since its creation, the unit has undertaken programmed reviews of all government overhead expenditure with a view to reducing wastage, promoting efficiency as well as guaranteeing quantifiable savings for the country.
“Specifically, the E-Unit has been monitoring the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government, identifying and eliminating wasteful spending, duplication and other inefficiencies, and identifying best practices in procurement and financial management.
“Aside helping save at least ₦15 billion annually from the services of the E-Unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance, the unit has also introduced price guidelines and shared services policy among MDAs to increase transparency in the procurement process, while the work processes and practices would be reviewed to identify and eliminate areas of wastage, excess capacity and duplications.
The Minister said the E-Unit has embarked on several cost cutting initiatives that have influenced the issuance of circulars to all MDAs by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, and the National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission.
“The issuance of these circulars has led to curtailed and better management of certain recurring processes and activities relating to travels, sitting allowances, souvenirs, among others, resulting in savings over ₦11 billion.
“Another tool that has been recommended to the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) is the use of debit cards by government officials for payments. This would plug loopholes and improve accountability in spending,” she added.
The E-Unit, Adeosun noted, has initiated some measures to improve the subsisting procurement process to generate savings using the government’s large purchasing power, improve transparency in the procurement process, and reduce the administrative costs associated with the procurement process.
“Successful outputs include secured discounts ranging from 5-50 per cent from 17 airlines for local and foreign travels. The Federal Ministry of Finance has recently signed an agreement with Dana Airlines that provides discounts of 50 per cent to all MDAs. The agreements with other airlines are at various stages of finalisation; the introduction of a Price Checker, a web-based platform, which is being developed with the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) will provide a portal for vendors to upload prices of their goods, which MDAs will use for procurement, thereby providing more transparency and eliminating sharp practices in the procurement process,” she stated.