Nigeria’s government said it is to save about N4 billion annually from travel costs as the Efficiency Unit (E_UNIT) of the Ministry of Finance enters discussions with local and international airlines to secure travel discounts for government officials.
The discussions, the ministry said in a statement, are yielding positive results.
According to the statement issued by the Special Adviser, Media, to the Minister of Finance, Mr. Festus Akanbi, a review of government overhead expenditure between 2012 and 2014 showed that travel was the largest single expenditure item. “A cumulative total of N248 billion, equivalent to about 18% of total overhead expenditure, was spent on travel during the period. This translates to N83 billion per annum.
At a conservative discount of 5% on ticket prices, the estimated savings per annum is approximately N4 billion,” the statement added. The ministry explained that given the large amount spent on travel, and consequently the significant potential for savings, it was imperative that the E-UNIT prioritises travel as a key focus area for cost cutting and generation of savings. “To this end, the Efficiency Unit has engaged in negotiation discussions with local and international airlines for discounts commensurate with the large number of ticket purchases made by Government annually.
The savings generated will increase funding available to the government for capital investment. After a meeting with senior Arik Air officials on Tuesday, the ministry reiterated its commitment to cut costs and promote fiscal prudence.