The Ministry of Finance for Nigeria stands on wobbly legs as of late, many blame the defunct finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for the travails of the current and confused finance system, that is, what is left of it.
The country’s foreign reserves instead of increasing were actually grossly below what former president, Goodluck Jonathan’s administration inherited.
But what does the 2016 Budget propose for infusing some life into this system, vs its predecessor. A review of the Budget for the Finance Ministry Headquarters might give some perspective.
Well, it would seem President Buhari’s message of transparency and reducing what many economists have considered exorbitant budgets and salaries has held true.
Finance Headquarters see a reduction from N3,804,166,618 to N3,092,973,712
Salaries and Wages see a slight reduction from N1,107,329,305 to N1,035,352,900
Personal Cost sees a slight reduction from N1,245,745,468 to N1,164,772,013
Now lets move to the fun stuff…some interesting Line Items, yes this is the stuff that gets your ministers to and fro and allows them to do the job they have been elected to do right?
Motor Vehicle Cost sees a reduction from N10,616,539 to N9,592,000
Medical Expenses see a reduction from N1,577,809 to N1,160,022
Publicity and Advertisements also saw a reduction from 109,728,458 to 80,673,561
And as mentioned the overall budget saw a reduction from N6.80 trillion to N6,060,677,358,227.00 trillion dollars.
All that remains is to legislate the 2016 Budget. And after 3 months of wading in the waters of the National Assembly, the 2016 Budget was passed on March 23, 2016. The hope is that a reduction in the overall line items can allow for more of that money to flow into the overall economy, and allow for a focus on elected officials to focus on transparent policies that will move the country forward.
However, the aforementioned line items, were just a few out of many for the headquarters alone. The finance ministry also has a debt management office, investment and securities tribunal, budget allocation for each state office, office of the accountant general of the federation and the list goes some.
Many have called for the consolidation of these offices, which would help with the reduction of “ghost workers“.