The epileptic power supply in Nigeria may deteriorate in no distant future as the Senate yesterday slashed its budget by N25.5 billion from N714.668 billion appropriated for the sector in the 2018 budget as part of monies vired for the conduct of the 2019 general election.
Similarly, the education sector also suffered from such virement as N10.238 billion was taken from N651.226 billion appropriated for the education ministry in the 2018 budget to make up for the N242.2billion budgeted for conduct of the 2019 general election.
Moreover, 28 other Ministries, Departments and Agencies ( MDAs), also had parts of their 2018 budgetary allocations vired in addition to the N121.2billion vired from service wide votes to make up for the N242billionn 2019 elections’ budget.
This last tinkering with the 2018 national budget was as a result of recommendations made by the Senate Committee on Appropriations in respect of the election budget.
The Committee in the report presented by its Chairman, Senator Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe Central), explained that the earlier virement of N242bn for the elections’ budget entirely from service wide votes (Special Intervention Programme) should be rescinded and approve new sources recommended.
The recommended new sources as presented and approved by the Senate are N121.2 billion to be vired from service wide votes (Special Intervention Programme) and the remaining balance of N121billion to be vired from 2018 budgetary votes of affected 30 MDAs.
Some of the MDAs affected are Federal Ministry of Water Resources which has N12.954 billion vired from its N155.149bn 2018 budget, Federal Ministry of Agriculture where N11billion was vired from its N203bn 2018 budget.
Others are Ministry of Budget and National Planning N8.845bn, Ministry of Defence N2.636 billion, Foreign Affairs N1.737billion and Federal Ministry of Health N8.059billion.
Also affected in the virements are Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation N6.734billion, Office of the National Security Adviser N1.120bn, Ministry of Labour and Employment N2.727 billion, Information and Culture N1.884billion, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs N1.199 billion, Science and Technology N7.466billion , Industry, Trade and Investment N7.085billion etc.
Meanwhile, the committee in the report, retained the spread of the N242billion virement votes for conduct of the 2019 general election across the six affected agencies as earlier approved by both chambers of the National Assembly, with N189bn for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), N27.3bn for the Nigeria Police Force and N9.481bn for the office of the National Security Adviser.
Others are N10.213 billion for the Department of State Services (DSS), N3.573bn for the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and N2.628bn for the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), totalling N242.245, 050, 100 billion.
Authored By: Chukwu David
SOURCE: NEW TELEGRAPH