Recently, it was discovered that the 2024 budget of the Federal government no longer includes financial provisions for 26 professional bodies and agencies’ councils, as they have been completely removed from the allocation. In a bid to achieve cost savings in the upcoming year, the government has set a target of reducing budgetary allocations by ₦27.72bn. Effective December 31, 2023, Akabueze Ben, the Director-General of the Federation’s Budget Office, made a significant announcement in June.
He declared the cessation of budgetary allocations to professional bodies and councils from that date forward. On June 26, 2023, a significant letter was sent to the Registrar at the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. This letter, bearing the code DG/BDT/GEN.CORR/2016/XII/3067, carries crucial information and is in accordance with the decisions made by the Presidential Committee on Salaries, the aforementioned communication.
These establishments are now considered self-financed entities.
In the letter titled “Discontinuation of Funding of Professional Bodies and Councils from the 2024 Budget, In Line With The Decisions Of The Presidential Committee On Salaries,” it was declared that these establishments are now considered self-financed entities. Consequently, they will assume complete responsibility for all their staff-related expenses, operational costs, and investments from this point forward. In the letter that was only partially read, there was a notification that the Presidential Committee on Salaries has made the decision.
This decision was made during the committee’s thirteenth gathering, to cease the provision of financial support to Professional Bodies/Councils starting from December 31, 2023. In accordance with PCS’s instructions, professional bodies were informed that beginning from the aforementioned date, the Budget Office will cease to allocate budgetary resources to their Institution. Consequently, professional bodies and councils will now operate as a self-supported entity. The primary objective of this correspondence is to apprise them of this change.
It is possible that the council’s appeal for exemption has been approved.
Just to ensure there is no confusion, it is important to note that starting from December 31, 2023, the complete responsibility of managing their personnel, overhead costs, and capital expenses will be entrusted to them. It is possible that the council’s appeal for exemption has been approved. The government’s decision to halt budget allocation has resulted in the agencies relying heavily on other sources of funding, one of which includes levies such as registration fees, licensing fees, renewal fees, examination fees, and membership fees.
Also, these levies are expected to serve as the main financial support for these agencies, alongside other available alternatives. In a recent disclosure, obtained from the official website of the budget office, the government has declared that a total of 26 professional bodies and councils will experience significant repercussions as a result of the latest progress. The different departments and committees fall within the jurisdiction of various governmental entities such as the Ministry responsible for Trade and Investment, the Ministry in charge of Information and Communication, the Ministry overseeing Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Ministry handling Transport affairs.
Analysis revealed the breakdown of amount that could be saved.
They also fall under the Ministry in control of Mines and Steel, the Ministry responsible for Justice, the Ministry overseeing Works and Housing, and the Ministry of Environment. The analysis revealed that by excluding the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, a total of ₦3.72bn could be saved. Additionally, the Council for Registered Engineers of Nigeria exemption would result in ₦2.41bn in savings. Moreover, the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s exclusion would lead to ₦4.52bn being saved, while the Optometrist and Dispensing Opticians Board of Nigeria exemption would result in ₦1.67bn in savings.