The Federal Government says it has been saving about N20 billion on salaries monthly since it began to fish out ghost workers.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, said this while addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja on the sideline of a workshop on cost management.
The workshop was organised for Directors and top civil servants of Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) by the Efficiency Unit of the Ministry of Finance. Isa-Dutse said that the drastic reduction in the cost of monthly wages was from N165 billion to N145 billion monthly. He said this was done with the assistance of the Presidential Committee on Audit of MDAs.
He said the committee had the responsibility of continuous auditing of MDAs’ salaries and wages. Isa-Dutse declared the workshop open on behalf of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun.
The minister said that the main aim of the workshop was to sensitise public officials to cost and share with them some tools to manage the cost. “It is basically to train on how, as a government, we can manage our cost better.
“It is not only imperative that we look at ways to generate more money for government, but at the same time we must also manage our cost more efficiently.
“As we have seen even though revenue has gone down in the last couple of years, expenditure, particularly overhead has not gone down correspondingly and that has created fiscal pressures for government. “What we are doing is to look at whatever ways we can to generate more savings for government to be run more efficiently.
“We want the savings realised from the efficiencies to be channelled into higher priority areas like infrastructure and social welfare spending,” she said Head of the Efficiency Unit, Mrs. Patience Oniha, said that in the last one year that the unit was established, it had saved the government about N15 billion.
The savings, she said, were from overheads and reduction in excessive foreign travels and other allowances.
The Head of the Efficiency Unit added that more funds would be saved by consciously eliminating waste of government resources. She also said that the unit was working on several other items to be added to the list of cost cutting items.