Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun has told Nigerian Civil Servants not to justify stealing of public funds because of poor salaries. Adeosun stated this while inaugurating the Efficiency Unit of the Ministry Of Finance in Abuja November 30th.
“We are going to look up all the causes that make government spending extremely inefficient and we are going to circulate those results to the agencies so that they will get a circular saying this is on paper and if you go above it, the Permanent Secretary or whoever is approving it needs to have a reason for doing so.
We are setting a benchmark; at the moment, there are no guidelines; and where there are no guidelines, there is no sin. So, we need to establish those guidelines to guide how people spend money. We cannot justify stealing and say because my salary is low so it justifies stealing. Not everybody steals and not everybody is willing to steal, and stealing is not a way to address low remuneration. Stealing is stealing and it is a crime; you cannot steal and say because my salary is low that was why I stole; what about people who have no salaries? Stealing is stealing and we must address it. It is not acceptable. We need to address it and we will do so very aggressively. There is no excuse for stealing.”she said
Adeosun said the introduction of the Efficiency Unit in the ministry was to checkmate the manner in which government money is being spent in this very challenging economic times.
“Our own initial reviews have found wide variations in the prices of basic items between departments and within agencies. Printer cartridges of the same specification ranged in price from N16,000 to N62,000″.she said
She said that the obvious differences in these items will no longer be tolerated in these economic hard times.