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Senate Cautions Education, Housing Over Poor Budget Implementation and Spree Spending

By on November 20, 2012

The senate has recently become very troubled over the fact that the 2012 budget implementation is still below 50 per cent when there are just 41 days to the end of the 2012 fiscal year.

This situation was confirmed by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, and his counterpart in the Committee on Housing, Land, and Urban Development, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim, they both were of the position that the senate is worried and disappointed over the development.

In separate comments, the lawmakers spoke at the 2013 budget defence of the Ministries of Education and Housing, Land and Urban Development in Abuja.

Chukwumerije lamented that the level of implementation of the 2012 budget remained below 50 per cent, noting that even when the level of allocation to the sector has increased, the level of implementation of the 2012 budget remained below 50 per cent.

He said it is true that budget implementation in all other sectors remains below expectation but that of the education sector was deploring.

He partly faulted the executive arm of the government for the habit of not releasing funds on time.

He said during their oversight visit many institutions mentioned, infrastructure, faculty, and content as the three main deficiencies in the area of infrastructure.

The lawmaker noted that even when funding is not enough it is their responsibility to fix the problem and make it right, adding that the effective content is the ultimate goal of an academic institution.

The allocation to the allocation given to the ministry of education has been increased by N17.984 billion. The amount allocated to the ministry in 2012 was N409.531 billion, however, N427.515 billion is proposed for 2013.

However, Senator Chukwumerije lamented a decline of N6.692 billion in the proposed capital estimate of the Education Ministry, saying infrastructural facilities, renovation of dilapidated hostels, classrooms and laboratories in tertiary institutions need to be attended to therefore the decline is not healthy for the sector.

He assured that the committee “hopes to look into this unnecessary shortfall in capital cost to reposition our institutions in world ranking and provide an enviable learning environment for our children.”

Chukwumerije asked the executive arm to balance the planned early passage of the 2013 budget by the release of the amount appropriated by the National Assembly.

Senator Ibrahim lamented that going by the submission from the ministry, the budget performance is only 43 per cent.

He added that with only 41 days to the end of the fiscal year. He wondered how the ministry would perform that miracle.

He assumed, “The Minister of Finance keeps lying that the budget performance is 56 per cent.

“But Madam Minister (referring to the Minister of Housing, Ms Amal Pepple), you will agree with me that your budget performance is 43 per cent.

“The Minister of Finance keeps lying to Nigerians about budget performance.

“The Ministry of Finance is a big magician. It fiddles with figures.

“Those in the Ministry of Finance think they know everything when they don’t know anything.”

The committee was furious over the alleged spending of N85 million on trips to supervise a project meant to cost N20 million by the ministry.

The committee warned the ministry to reduce the number of trips to save money for the project.