The Minister for Transport Rotimi Amaechi flew into Port Harcourt today on a private jet.
His boss President Muhammadu Buhari has stressed the need for cutting costs due to falling oil revenues. In this regard, an Efficiency Unit was established in November to vet the expenditure of federal ministries and agencies.
The Minister for Finance Kemi Adeosun explained: “The principal objective of the Efficiency Unit is to ensure that every government expenditure is necessary and represents the best possible value for money.
“The Efficiency Unit will undertake programmed reviews of all government overhead expenditure with a view to reducing wastage, promoting efficiency and ensuring quantifiable savings for the country. Specifically, the Efficiency Unit will work across all MDAs to identify and eliminate wasteful spending, duplication and other inefficiencies; identify best practices in procurement and financial management and share such knowledge to ensure its adoption.
“Findings of the Efficiency Unit will be formally communicated accordingly and will be enforced through establishment of expenditure guidelines, undertaking follow-up reviews, spot checks and other measures that will ultimately checkmate wastages across all areas of federal government expenditure.”
Amaechi doesn’t seem to have got the memo.
Apart from the savings brief, as transport minister, Amaechi is expected to be improving the movement of goods and services in Nigeria and the movement of ordinary Nigerians. And leading by example.
It remains to be seen how someone flying around in a private jet and detached from the reality of millions of Nigerians would be able to address their transportation needs.
When Amaechi was appointed minister in November, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) tweeted: “Congrats to our new minister of aviation, let’s challenge our minister to confirm neither he nor his aides will fly first-class at tax payers’ expense. Let’s challenge our minister of transport to confirm he will use various public transports at least once a month.”