Nigeria — President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption in Nigeria has taken a wider dimension with the approval of the establishment of an Efficiency Unit (E-UNIT) in the Federal Ministry of Finance to ensure effective management of Nigeria’s economy and reduce cost of governance.
The newly established Efficiency Unit in the Federal Ministry of Finance is a comprehensive public sector reform initiative whose mandate goes beyond merely regulating government procurement processes.
The Unit, it has been revealed, would undertake a review of the Federal Government’s expenditure profile and pattern while working with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to introduce more efficient processes and procedures to achieve prudent deployment of material and human resources and value for money for the nation.
According to the Head of the Efficiency Unit, Ms. Patience Oniha, the establishment of the Efficiency Unit is about reviewing the internal mechanisms of government recurrent expenditure, work and procurement processes as well as practices in the public sector which promote or support wastage and inefficiency.
“While its remit includes a review of the procurement process in government for the purpose of identifying opportunities for savings, the Efficiency Unit is not a procurement regulatory agency. Its broad objective is to entrench a new culture of service delivery that promotes efficiency, value for money, prudence and integrity in the public service. The need to ensure that government’s resources are used in the most efficient manner so that the nation gets value for money while government is able to eliminate waste, duplications and inefficiencies in her expenditure processes and systems is the Unit’s most compelling mandate”.
Oniha added that the nation would enjoy some unique benefits from this new government initiative. These, according to her, include savings for the government which can be channeled to finance infrastructure, training for government officials to improve skills sets and service delivery.
Also, it offers a participatory and cooperative platform for MDAs to accept and institutionalize a culture of efficiency across board as part of the overall attituditional change needed to move the country forward, particularly in times such as now when government resources are not only lean but also under pressure.
In her words, “The Efficiency Unit’s mandate is clear. It includes reviewing government spending pattern using data from the Budget Implementation Report and other sources and working closely with MDAs to review work and procurement processes for specific Expenditure lines while agreeing changes or process improvements to reduce wastages and make savings”
“The Steering Committee which includes major stakeholders in government such as the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and distinguished private sector experts will ensure that collectively, the best initiatives are put forward and accepted by government for implementation by government officials”.