The Federal Government has approved the discontinuation of budgetary allocations to professional bodies and councils effective December 31, 2026. The new directive was disclosed in a letter obtained by our correspondent on Wednesday.
It was addressed to the Registrar, Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology, an agency under the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The letter, marked DG/BDT/GEN. CORR/2016/XII/3067 and dated June 26, 2023, was issued from the Budget office of the federation and signed by the Director General, Akabueze Ben. The letter titled, “Discontinuation of Funding of Professional Bodies and Councils From 2024 Budget, In Line With The Decisions Of The Presidential Committee On Salaries,” further stated that the institutions were now regarded as self-funded organisations and will henceforth be fully responsible for their personnel, overhead and capital expenditures.
The letter partly read, “I wish to inform you that, the Presidential Committee on Salaries, at its 13th meeting, approved the discontinuation of budgetary allocation to Professional Bodies/Councils effective December 31, 2026. “The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to inform you that, in compliance with PCS’s directive, this Office will no longer make: budgetary provisions to your Institution with effect from the above-stated date, and you will be regarded as a self-funded organisation. “For the avoidance of doubt, you will be required, effective December 31, 2026, to be fully responsible for your personnel, overhead and capital expenditures. “Please accept the assurance of my best regards,” the letter concluded.
Further findings by our correspondent revealed that at least 25 professional bodies and councils under the Ministry of Trade and Investment, the Ministry of Information and Communication, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Mines and Steel, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Works and Housing, and the Ministry of Environment will be affected by the new development. They include the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, the Computer Registration Council, the Librarians Registration Council, the National Education Research and Development Council, the Mass Literacy Council, the National Examination Council and the West African Examination Council (Local and International) under the Ministry of Education. Under the Ministry of Health, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, and the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria will be affected. Others include the Environmental Health Council of Nigeria, the Nigeria Press Council, the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, the Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geosciences, the Veterinary Council of Nigeria, the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, the Survey Council of Nigeria, the Legal Aid Council, the Council of Legal Education, the National Automotive Design and Development Council, the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council, and the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology.
The development comes amid the need for the government to cut the cost of governance. With a total debt stock hovering around N49.85 trillion, excluding the Central Bank of Nigeria’s N22.719 trillion Ways and Means loan, the country’s debt sustainability is a major concern to Financial Experts. DMO had expressed worries that the federal government’s debt service to revenue-ratio of 73.5 per cent for 2023 exceeded the recommended threshold of 50 per cent.