The Federal Government has excluded 26 professional bodies and councils of agencies from its budgetary allocations for the year 2024.
This decision is aimed at achieving a cost-saving measure, with the government targeting a savings of N27.72 billion in the 2024 budget, according to a document published on the website of the Budget Office of the Federation.
The Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, had earlier announced the discontinuation of budgetary allocations to professional bodies and councils, effective December 31, 2023.
This decision is now being implemented in the 2024 budget, reflecting the government’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.
The formal communication of this decision was conveyed through a letter dated June 26, 2023, marked DG/BDT/GEN. CORR/2016/XII/3067.
The letter was specifically addressed to the Registrar of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology, an agency under the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation.
This move is part of broader efforts by the government to streamline budgetary allocations and enhance financial discipline.
The exclusion of these professional bodies is expected to contribute to more efficient resource management and allocation across government agencies and initiatives.
Professional bodies to self-fund N27.72 billion budget in 2024
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,” explicitly outlines that the affected institutions are now considered self-funded organizations. Consequently, they will be entirely responsible for covering their personnel, overhead, and capital expenditures going forward.
This strategic shift aligns with the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on Salaries, emphasizing a move toward greater financial autonomy for these entities.
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, 2023.
- “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, 2023, to be fully responsible for your personnel, overhead and capital expenditures. The request for exemption by the council may have been granted.”
The recent suspension of budgetary allocations for 26 professional bodies and councils by the Federal Government is poised to reshape their financial dynamics.
Traditionally reliant on government funds, these entities, spanning ministries such as Trade and Investment, Information and Communication, Agriculture and Rural Development, Transport, Mines and Steel, Justice, Works and Housing, as well as Environment, will now need to pivot towards alternative revenue streams.
The affected bodies include significant entities like the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, the Council for Registered Engineers of Nigeria, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and the Optometrist and Dispensing Opticians Board of Nigeria.
Levies such as registration fees, licensing fees, renewal fees, examination fees, and membership fees may emerge as primary funding sources in the absence of government budgetary support.
This shift marks a significant transition toward financial self-sufficiency for these organizations.