President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has banned the
procurement and distribution of conference bags, T-shirts and other
souvenirs at events such as Conferences and Seminars funded by Federal
Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
In a statement on Sunday, in Abuja, the
Director of Information, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr Salisu
Dambatta, said President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the ban following
recommendations by the Efficiency Unit.
It said the Chief of Staff to the
President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, had forwarded the directive to the
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Head of the Civil
Service of the Federation and the Ministers of Finance and Budget and
National Planning, for implementation. According to the statement, the
ban was in continuation of the on-going cost-cutting and efficiency
drive in the utilisation of public funds by the present administration.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that
President Buhari had set up the Efficiency Unit to review all federal
government’s overhead expenditure to reduce wastage, promote efficiency
and ensure quantifiable savings for the country. The Minister of
Finance, Head of Service of the Federation, Accountant-General of the
Federation, Auditor-General of the Federation and Director, Budget
Office of the Federation are members of the Unit. The Unit identified
procurement as the area to begin the execution of its mandate of
reducing overhead costs and wastage resources.
The Efficiency unit had already recorded
success in cutting government overhead cost in areas such as travels,
welfare, honorarium, sitting allowance, training, adverts and publicity
as well as refreshments. It had gone a step further to relocate some of
federal government’s MDAs into recovered looted properties as ways to
reduce overhead cost.
“The directive which is a recognition of
the fact that in a period of lean financial resources unnecessary
expenditure on overheads such souvenirs are luxuries that the government
must eliminate. “This will enable release of funds for infrastructure
and services such as health and education that would have direct
positive impact on the well being of the citizenry and promote economic
“The directive also contained specific
guidelines that would reduce the cost of printing Invitation Cards,
Programme of events, Brochures, Folders and Note Pads. “Among the
guidelines are that they should be in black and white and limited to
only one page and in the case of Brochures they should be streamlined to
contain only essential information,” it said. Also, the statement said
the printing of unnecessary publications and books of short shelf life
which have no real value to the concerned public institutions or the
citizens has also been banned. “MDAs were encouraged to save costs by
uploading such publications on their websites which has the added
benefit of wider visibility,” it said.