President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday placed a ban on fresh recruitment by all Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, (MDAs) except by presidential approval.
According to him, the decision was to manage a rising personnel expenditure that was expected to increase to 12 per cent in 2018.
Nigeria’s supreme leader made this known when he presented the estimates of the 2018 budget to a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives in Abuja.
The President laid a budget size of N8.612tn before the legislature for 2018, an increase of N1.7tn from the N7.44tn appropriated in 2017.
Buhari, who addressed lawmakers for an hour and 13 minutes – amid applause and intermittent murmurs by senators and members of the House – said he had released up to N450bn out of the N2.2tn budgeted for 2017 capital projects as of the end of October.
He also promised to raise the implementation of 2017 budget to “about 50 per cent” by the end of December, blaming the delayed in the release of funds partly on the “late passage of the 2017 budget.”
The president further said to check a bloating personnel cost, he had directed all MDAs to halt fresh recruitment, else they would face sanctions.
“I have directed agencies not to embark on any fresh recruitment unless they have obtained all the requisite approvals. Any breach of this directive will be severely sanctioned,” he said.