According to Channels Television, The Secretary to the Government of the Federation recently issued a circular directing the implementation of the reduction of meetings to four per annum, thus bringing standard, transparency and cost cutting in the payment of sitting allowances.
This is coming after the recommendation of the Efficiency Unit of the Ministry of Finance that the Federal Government reduce the frequency of meetings for part-time Chairmen and Members of Committees, Boards of Statutory Corporations and Government-owned companies from eight to four times annually.
This development will save the Federal Government about N1 billion annually.
The Unit discovered that the average annual expenditure on honorarium and sitting allowances between 2012 and 2014 was N12.8 billion.
The Director of Information, Ministry of Finance, Salisu Na’inna Dambatta made this known in a statement that read:
While the new allowances per sitting of N40,000 to N150,000 and N30,000 to N120,000 for Chairmen and Members respectively appear reasonable, the increase in number of meetings from four to eight was rather too high and doubled the cost of sitting allowances for the government.
A maximum of four meetings was considered adequate for Boards, while other interactions can be conducted using Information Communication Technology (ICT), which is cheaper and already tested in Nigeria.