FG To Compel MDAs To Use Debit Cards For Procurement

Source: thewillnigeria.com

BEVERLY HILLS, December 14, (THEWILL) – Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, on Monday disclosed plans by the Federal Government to compel all its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to use debit cards to purchase items as another strategic way to cut down on huge waste in the system and curb corruption in the civil service.

This comes just two weeks after the finance minister launched Nigeria's first ever efficiency unit that would maximise efficiency in spending in government agencies and deliver quantifiable cost savings by scrutinising and harmonising daily overhead and personnel costs.

“We are already working with banks so that we can go cashless, so that we could give debit cards to MDAs to procure items. If they want to buy fuel for instance, their drivers would make use of the cards,” Adeosun told the joint Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Finance, Appropriation, National Planning and Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions reviewing the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Medium‎ Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for approval.

“We would be able to control the cards to know who and where the fuel was bought. We are really working hard to drive down overhead. If we don’t attack our recurrent the risk is that extra money goes into it and we will have nothing to show for it, this is a big risk that we cannot afford,” she said.

According to the finance minister, personnel cost was reduced in the 2016 budget by N100 billion, as the country paid N1.8 trillion as personnel cost in 2015.

Adeosun informed the joint National Assembly committees that expenditure of all MDAs would be strictly monitored to avoid wastes, saying government would take steps to ensure that whatever money was being taken from the account of any MDA‎ was done electronically.

She equally disclosed that measures had been put in place to compel revenue-generating MDAs to remit all funds they generated to the treasury, as “the era when an agency generates money and spends 99 percent of it is over.”

On borrowing, she said government was already speaking with some of the lenders, as “the money we will borrow would be capital tied, project tied. Much of the concessional money are project tied. Also, most funds we are taking from the various EXIM banks is specifically tied to capital projects.

“We are also using PPP so we are going to be leveraging on our money. In some cases what we are putting down is just the seed money and the rest of the money will come from the private sector for those projects that have the ability to be self-financing.”