In the federal government quest to reduce cost of governance as well as curb the incidence of mismanagement in the ministries and departmental agencies (MDAs), President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of an Efficiency Unit (E-UNIT) in the Federal Ministry of Finance.
The principal objective of the Efficiency Unit, The Nation gathered, 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.
According to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the Efficiency Unit will undertake programmed reviews of all government overhead expenditure with a view to reducing wastage, promoting efficiency and ensuring quantifiable savings for the country.
Specifically, the Efficiency Unit will 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 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.
Meanwhile, a Committee to undertake activities of the Efficiency Unit has since been set up to be chaired by the Finance Minister, with members drawn from both public and private sector.
The Project Leader is Ms Patience Oniha, a highly experienced Banker and Chartered Accountant, with 30 years experience in financial sector.
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 Supervising Committee have agreed to donate their time without fee as their contribution to making government more efficient.