Labour Minister Cautions Staff on Travelling Expenses

Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour
Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour
In line with the firm determination of the federal government to eliminate waste and maximize the use of scarce resources, the Hon. Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Dr. Chris Ngige has directed an immediate minimization of Duty Tour Allowance in the ministry and agencies under it.
“Under this directive, no officer including the Minister, Minister of state and the Permanent Secretary will be allowed to stay out of the station for more than one night.  Any officer, whose job is taking out of station for more than a night therefore, is expected to get the approval of the Permanent Secretary. This shall not exceed a maximum of two days. Any other stay that lasts for more than two days because of the peculiar nature of the duty shall be with the express approval of the Honourable Minister”.
 “This will apply for both local and international travels. Of course, no officer will travel abroad without the explicit approval of the Minister, even if the cooperation partners or donor agencies are sponsoring such.  These are cost saving measures, which will also enhance productivity, and we are all expected to abide by it.   The days where we stay for as long as possible to accumulate allowances for ourselves are now over,” he said.
The Minister who stated this while addressing the management team of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE) in his office, said  “there is every need for the Ministry and its agencies to key into the new development objectives of the federal government in streamlining its agencies as well as operations for efficiency and maximum output.”
He urged civil servants to tap into the numerous advantages, which the new information and communication technology offers in the efficient running of a modern government, arguing that  “e-governance is now the trend.” 
“New technology has effectively shut down the number of times we ought to be on the road. The State Director of an agency doesn’t need to travel to Abuja to brief his Director General. He can adequately communicate from his base and still deliver the goals.”
The minister urged the NDE to capture in their 2016 Work plan, Social Safety Nets in job creation and Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) as contained in the manifesto of the APC in order to alleviate sufferings for the people.  He further charged the agency to look inwards and seek out creative measures to boost and market their targets and the objectives. He asked them to broaden liaison with state governments so as to create a wider market for its job-creation products.  
“We must tell ourselves the truth. We inherited a seriously stressed economy. We can’t therefore continue with the old ways. We need to sit up and invent new measures to buoy up the agency as a capable instrument of job creation, far away from the near-sleeping institution it is at the moment. Government can’t create all the jobs for the people but the NDE where it is ingenious, will create numerous opportunities for our people to catch fish for themselves.”
In another development, the catholic Arch Bishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan charged the nation’s workforce to emulate the example of Christ Jesus in bringing dignity to labour. The cardinal who was at the Labour Ministry on courtesy visit to the Minister, said that the nation needed a dedicated and resourceful workforce to push through the programmes of the current administration. He urged the Minister to remain steadfast in leading by example.  
Samuel Olowookere
                                                                                Deputy Director (Press)


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