Kenya ministries start cutting costs

March 17, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 17 – Government Ministries have started outlining measures to reduce expenditure following a directive from the Treasury.

Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula said diplomatic delegations out of the country would be limited to a bare minimum in addition to the scrapping unnecessary trips.

“You know my Ministry has hospitality as one of its key functions. We have to receive visitors and entertain them but again we must cut our suit according to the cloth available,” he said.

Mr Wetangula called on his colleagues to avoid unnecessary trips and send only the necessary officers.

“There are certain cases where some ministers engage in excesses travelling with their personal assistants, two of their bodyguards and so on. Those are some of the things we need to look at and cut down,” he urged.

Separately, Water and Irrigation Minister Charity Ngilu has pledged to exercise caution in her Ministry’s expenditure.

“We will use the money we have been given very prudently and ensure whatever we are doing only matters to save life,” she said.

Mrs Ngilu said her ministry would focus more on development projects and help alleviate the current famine ravaging the country.

At the East Africa Community Ministry, Permanent Secretary David Nalo said fuel expenses would be strictly vetted.

“We are making sure that we rationalise our expenditures especially imprests on fuel so that we peg it down to the number of kilometres. We are also rationalising our expenditure on allowances for extra work done in offices,” he said.

The comments come in the wake of revelations of the ministries spending excessively on the purchase of office flowers, tea and over-time allowances.  Finance PS Joseph Kinyua last week sent a circular requiring ministries to institute cost cutting measures as the financial crisis persist.

The country was faced with deficit of over Sh100 billion in its budget.

Last week, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta announced a freeze on government recruitment with the exception of the Security Ministry but clarified that no individuals would lose their jobs in the Civil Service as a result of the new measures. 

He said the government would reduce recurrent expenditure through measures like cutting on domestic and international travel, conferences and workshops, training and purchase of furniture.

The Minister however allayed fears that the government was broke and assured that the proposed measures to cut expenditure were to ensure sustainable running of the government.


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