Friday, 31 July 2015

MONETISATION POLICY REFORMS: Increased Govt Transparency in Salaries Management and Curbing Excesses of Public Officers.

Problem: Government was spending large amounts of money providing residential accommodation for public servants and maintaining, renovating and furnishing official quarters. Government was also funding domestic staff for senior officials and maintaining a large fleet of official vehicles. This meant the cost of maintaining government was much higher than the resources available to provide services.

Reform Actions: The introduction of the policy on Monetisation of Fringe Benefits in the Nigerian Public Sector on 1st July 2003.

Main Achievements: The policy provided government with more transparency in the management of salaries and fringe benefits by curbing the excesses of some public officers who used public resources for private comfort. It has stopped the culture of waste in the guise of maintenance of government housing. It has also certainly reduced the resources that government expends on maintaining official accommodation and vehicles for public servants, despite the incidence of ‘project vehicles’. Furthermore, it has reduced the bureaucracy and red tape associated with computing, verifying, and managing the computation of fringe benefits. Again, it has largely levelled the field for public servants.

Key Challenges: (a) there is an increased feeling of resentment by those who were not in a position to buy government houses when they were sold; (b) key workers such as doctors, nurses, and fire officers can no longer live near their facilities, which has adverse effects on response times during emergencies; (c) there is loose control on exemptions to the rule regarding the purchase of official vehicles; and (d) many civil servants are forced to live in the outskirts of cities, thereby affecting how early they can get into work and how late they can stay in the office. 

Reference:  Public Service Reforms in Nigeria (1999-2014) - A Comprehensive Review

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