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In the course of analysing the 2016 and 2017 budgets, I have come to realise that people have this misconception about how bad we’ve had it. Let me correct this by saying that our budgets have always been riddled with frivolous line items, both at the state and federal level. Although it seems to have gotten worse with this government, it will be wrong to claim it all started in 2016.
This is the fifth part of my 2017 budget analysis and I will be taking a look at the budget for the Ministry of Communication Technology, Office of the National Security Adviser, and the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
The Ministry of Communication Technology has just 3 agencies under it. They are: Federal Ministry of Communication Technology Headquarters, Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited, and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).
The total budget for the Communication Technology Ministry is 18,750,951,876. Of this amount, 7,544,169,142 is the total capital and 11,206,782,734 is the total recurrent. Of the recurrent, 280,974,561 is the total overhead while 10,925,808,173 is the total personnel.
I will begin with the budget for the “Purchase of Computers” by the Communication and Technology Ministry Headquarters which is put at 534,232,190. This does not look outrageous coming from the Communication Technology Ministry, but doing a little math will reveal something. Let us imagine that because of the exchange rate of the Naira currently that a good enough computer will go for N500, 000. This will bring about over 1000 computers just for the Communication Technology Ministry alone. That is a lot of computing power for a Ministry run by a lawyer who has shown times without number that he isn’t exactly cut out for the job. And lest I forget, the 534,232,190 budgeted for the “Purchase of Computers” is a 1500% percent increase from the 35,100,000 budgeted in 2016 for the same item.
960,376,076 has also been budgeted for “Computer Software Acquisition.” In 2014, the amount budgeted for this was 250,293,779 while in 2015 it was 25,346,535. In the 2016 budget, 229,134,673 was the amount budgeted. Taking all these into consideration, you will realise that we have an over 400% increase from what was budgeted in 2016.
The Communication and Technology Ministry has also planned to spend 400,000,000 on the “Extension of Government Service Portal.” In 2014, 180,000,000 was budgeted for this same item while in 2015 it was 63,366,337. In the 2016 budget on the other hand, two provisions were made for it made; the first provision gave it 121,132,426 while in its second appearance in same 2016 budget it was given a budget of 67,200,000. There are levels to these things it seems. 329,999,999 will also be spent on “E-government Kiosks/Centres.” It would be very nice to know how these kiosks will function and how many of them they plan to establish.
The budget for the Communication and Technology Ministry has a lot of repetition and duplications from previous budgets which doesn’t bode well at all.
OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER
The Office of the National Security Adviser has 4 agencies under it. They are: Office of the National Security Adviser, Directorate of State Security Service, National Intelligence Agency, and the Presidential Air Fleets (State House).
The total budget for the ONSA is 110,490,229,417 with 43,209,203,765 set aside as the total capital. The total recurrent is 67,281,025,652 of which; the total overhead is 12,448,992,912 while the total personnel is 54,832,032,740.
15,870,995,994 is what the Office of the National Security Adviser has budgeted for the “Purchase of Security Equipment.” 7,721,364,000 is budgeted for the “Construction/Provision of Defence Equipment,” with 1,440,118,140 budgeted for the “Construction/Provision of Office Buildings.”
The National Intelligence Agency has just two projects it plans to undertake in 2017 and they are both vague. Maybe it is because of the nature of their job, or maybe it is just not a good sign. 2,431,565,318 is budgeted for “Establishment of Security Infrastructure,” and 4,200,000,000 for the “Purchase of Security Equipment.”
850,800,000 is budget by the Presidential Air Fleet for the “Maintenance of Aircrafts” which is approximately 2,330,958 each day. 900,000,000 will also be spent on fuelling the aircrafts bringing it to about 2,465,753. The Presidential Air Fleet budgeted 410,000,000 for “International Travel & Transport: Training” while the training itself will cost 550,000,000 making it a total of 960,000,000 for both transportation for the training and the training proper.
Under the capital budget of the Presidential Air Fleet, there is a provision for what they call “Purchase of Aircraft Towing Vehicle, Aircraft Maintenance Tools and Kitchen Equipment.” Now, here is the problem with this particular line item; there is a 10,018,000 budget for “Food Stuff/Catering Material Supplies” under recurrent expenditure which I believe covers for the “Kitchen Equipment.”
CODE OF CONDUCT TRIBUNAL
I will end this with the budget of the Code of Conduct Tribunal whose budget is so filthy that it budgeted 3,000,000 for “Legal Services” and 513,616,705 for “Prompt Dispensation of Anti-Corruption Cases among Public Office Holders in Line with the Tribunal’s Mandate.”
We have come to the end of the fifth piece in this series. I wish you a happy new year.
Saatah Nubari is on Twitter @Saatah
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