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Kuma warns against unnecessary spending, no recruitment of new public officers in 2024

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Minister of Finance and Treasury Harry Kuma has cautioned government  ministries to control  excessive and potentially unnecessary expenditures on consumables, travel, conferences, seminars, and training that will bear no lasting benefits for the country.

Kuma stressed the control of spending when he delivered the national budget or 2024 Appropriation Bill 2023 which calls for $4,209.9 million to be applied to the service of the 2024 financial year, including $3,417.9 million in recurrent budget, $135.3 million in budget support and $656.75 million in total development expenditure.

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The minister said to discourage ministries from devoting scarce resources to spending that will not boost economic growth or improve tax collection for the national good, it is advisable to put a curb on excessive and potentially unnecessary expenditures on consumables, travel, conferences, seminars, and training that will bear no lasting benefits for the country.

Kuma admitted that uncontrolled discretionary spending has been a major weakness in managing government finances.

“To ensure the uninterrupted provision of critical services, it is important that ministry budget committees carefully examine these expenditures and make strategic decisions on how to allocate discretionary funds to high priority areas where economic recovery is guaranteed,” said Kuma.

He added experience over the years has also shown significant rise in this area without producing noticeable improvements.

“It’s time for the Ministry Budget Committee to decide which important growth priorities, as determined by the government, should receive funding under this level of spending,” he said.

 Kuma highlighted that given the tight budget in 2024, government will continue to maintain the following broad policy measures from 2023 into 2024.

  • Vehicle purchases will still be centralised at MID

  • International and domestic travel would be limited to government work related purposes by small delegations.

  • Training and skills development by ministries must be carried out in a transparent manner with respect to its timing, amount of resources, needed skills and staff to be trained.

  • Freezing of vacancies will still be imposed in 2024 unless ministries provide sufficient evidence that they are ready to fill their vacancies.

  • Early Retirement Program will continue to be implemented in 2024. (f) Deployment of Officers for the National General Election will continue in 2024.

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