Dana Air has signed an agreement with the Federal Government to give 50 per cent discount to government officials on all its flight routes.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, announced this on Thursday in Abuja at a workshop with Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on flight discounts with Dana Airline.

Adeosun, represented by the acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Ms Larai Shaibu, said the event was aimed at sensitising MDAs to conditions associated with the deal applicable to all routes.

“This arrangement with Dana is the first among several ongoing activities of the Efficiency Unit to use the Federal Government’s large buying power to secure commensurate discounts from providers of goods and services.

“From discounts on air travel alone, we expect to save N5 billion per annum when legal documentation of the discounts offered by other airlines are concluded.

“This financial reform activities are in our collective interest. I therefore implore all MDAs to support the initiative and avail themselves of savings opportunities such as travel discounts,’’ she said.

Also, the Head of the Efficiency Unit, Mrs Patience Oniha, reiterated the unit’s determination to reduce overhead cost in MDAs so that the government could embark on more capital investments.

She said that currently overhead costs at MDAs were dominated by travels, maintenance of fixed assets, office stationery, welfare, honorarium and sitting allowances.

On travels, she said the Unit was currently negotiating discounts with 19 other local and international airlines, ranging from five to 50 per cent discount.

“We have already sent out circulars to MDAs, informing them that traveling first class is no longer allowed for government officials.

“The class of travels for any official can only be economy or business and only a limited number of people are allowed to fly business class.

“Also government officials need the approval of the SGF before they can travel. This is to curb unnecessary travels,’’ she said.

The Head of Marketing, Dana Airline, Mr Oluremi Jiboudu, said the discount applied to the base fare of the ticket, so the MDAs were expected to pay full taxes, including airport charges.

He said that the MDAs were expected to make payments after every two weeks to enjoy the credit facility provided by the airline.

Efficiency unit has already recorded success in cutting government overhead cost in other areas such as welfare, honorarium, sitting allowance, training, adverts and publicity as well as refreshments.

It has gone a step further to relocate some of Federal Government’s MDAs into recovered looted properties as ways to reduce overhead cost.

It has also banned the sharing of souvenirs such as T-Shirts, note pads and briefcases at government events.

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