Nigeria moves to salvage a forseeable economic wreck

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Nigeria’s federal government has unveiled tough measures aimed at ensuring prudence in government spending, amid falling oil prices and the global economic downturn.

Quoting a circular from the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the local press Monday listed some of the measures as a ban on the purchase of new vehicles, procurement of furniture and construction or acquisition of new office buildings.

Also, the allowances payable to the President and other public officials have been slashed by 50 per cent, just like international travel has been cut by the same margin and local travel by 25 per cent, while international management trainings have been suspended.

”To effect these and other measures, Mr. President has approved the establishment of a Presidential Committee to monitor the implementation of the 2009 budget of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, including those not funded from the budget,” the circular was quoted as saying.

”Mr. President has also directed that the application of these measures is to be closely monitored by this office and the Ministry of Finance,” it added.

Nigeria’s main opposition Action Congress (AC) party has urged the government to unveil measures aimed at ameliorating the effects of the recession or falling oil prices on the citizenry.

Nigeria’s, the world’s eighth largest oil producer, depends on crude oil for over 80 per cent of its foreign exchange earnings, but the price of the commodity has fallen from about US$150 to below US$40, meaning less money will be available to the government to carry out its programmes.

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