The Federal Government has recently announced its decision to discontinue budgetary allocations to professional bodies and councils starting from December 31, 2026. This decision was conveyed in a letter addressed to the Registrar of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology, an agency under the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The letter, signed by Director General Akabueze Ben and issued from the Budget office of the federation, stated that these organizations will now be considered self-funded and will be responsible for their own personnel, overhead, and capital expenditures.
The directive, titled “Discontinuation of Funding of Professional Bodies and Councils From 2024 Budget, In Line With The Decisions Of The Presidential Committee On Salaries,” outlined the government’s plan to cease budgetary provisions to these institutions by the end of 2026. The letter emphasized that the affected organizations should be prepared to assume full responsibility for their financial needs by December 31, 2026.
As per further investigations, it has been revealed that approximately 25 professional bodies and councils under various ministries will be impacted by this decision. These include organizations under the Ministry of Trade and Investment, the Ministry of Information and Communication, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Mines and Steel, the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Works and Housing, and the Ministry of Environment.
Some of the affected bodies include the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, the Computer Registration Council, the Librarians Registration Council, the National Education Research and Development Council, the Mass Literacy Council, the National Examination Council, and the West African Examination Council (Local and International) under the Ministry of Education. Additionally, organizations like the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria, the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, and the Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria under the Ministry of Health will also be impacted.
The government’s decision to discontinue funding these professional bodies and councils is part of its efforts to reduce the cost of governance. Nigeria’s substantial debt, which amounts to around N49.85 trillion (excluding the Central Bank of Nigeria’s N22.719 trillion Ways and Means loan), has raised concerns about the country’s debt sustainability. The Debt Management Office (DMO) has expressed worries about the federal government’s debt service to revenue ratio, which reached 73.5% for 2023, surpassing the recommended threshold of 50% and prompting the need for cost-cutting measures.