The federal government under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said that budgetary allocations will no longer be made for professional bodies and councils, with effect from January 2024.
Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze, made this known in a letter to the professional bodies and councils.
The letter, marked DG/BDT/GEN. CORR/2016/XII/3067 and dated June 26, 2023, was issued from the Budget office of the federation and signed by the Director General, Akabueze Ben.
Akabueze said that the decision was in line with the recommendation of the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS).
Many, however, see the move as part of the federal government’s latest move to cut spending.
“I wish to inform you that, the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PCS), at its 13th meeting approved the discontinuation of budgetary allocation to Professional Bodies/Councils effective 1st January, 2024.
“The purpose of this letter, therefore, is to inform you that, in compliance with PCS’s directive, this Office (Budget Office of the Federation) will no longer make budgetary provisions for your institution, which means that you will be regarded henceforth as a self-funded organization.
“For the avoidance of doubt, you will be required, effective 1st January, 2024, to be fully responsible for your personnel, overhead, and capital expenditures,” the memo said.
There are over 30 professional associations or councils in Nigeria, with some being funded by the federal government.
At least 25 professional bodies and councils under the Ministry of Trade and Investment, Ministry of Information and Communication, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Mines and Steel, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Works and Housing, and the Ministry of Environment among others will be affected by the new development.
The bodies that would be affected include Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Computer Registration Council, Librarians Registration Council, National Education Research and Development Council, Mass Literacy Council, National Examination Council (NECO) and the West African Examination Council (WAEC) under the Ministry of Education.
Under the Ministry of Health, those to be affected include the Nursing and Midwifery Council, Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, and the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria will be affected.
Others include Environmental Health Council of Nigeria, Nigeria Press Council, Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, Council of Nigerian Mining Engineers and Geosciences; Veterinary Council of Nigeria, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, Survey Council of Nigeria, Legal Aid Council, Council of Legal Education, National Automotive Design and Development Council; Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, Nigeria Investment Promotion Council; the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology among others.