The Senate yesterday queried the ministry of education over N10billion personnel costs increment in the 2016 Budget of its parastatals against the sum of N88, 199,311,758 that was appropriated for the agencies in the 2015 appropriation law.
The Senate also questioned the ministry for embarking on road constructions and bridges on behalf of some of its agencies located within the Federal Capital Territory, stressing that those agencies have no business with such projects.
The Upper legislative chamber similarly directed the ministry to furnish it with details of monies realized by some of its agencies that are revenue generating and furnish it with how the monies were expended.
These discoveries were made at the budget hearing and defence session of the ministry of education (Basic and Secondary) before the Senate committee on education, chaired by Senator Aliu Wamakko following an observation by the Majority Whip of the Senate, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, who drew attention of the committee to the anomalies.
Senator Adeyeye, who raised the anomalies shortly after the presentation by minister of state for education, Prof Anthony Anwuka, expressedconcerns that N98, 181,570, 230 was earmarked for parastatals in the 2016 Budget proposal, but wondered why personnel costs proposals of institutions like Unity Schools and universities were reduced.
He said, “For personnel costs, almost every sub-sector of the ministry got quite some money, while the main ministry, colleges of education, polytechnics, universities and so on, except the parastatals that have increase. I want to know why every other person lost money, except parastatals”.
In her remarks, a member of the committee, Senator Rose Oko questioned the ministry over construction of bridges and roads, which according to her, were not within the purview of the ministry of education.
Also in his remark, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, expressed displeasure at a situation where schools are losing while parastatals are gaining and directed the ministry to return at a later date to proffer explanation on the discrepancies.
Responding , the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Folasade Yemi-Esan, explained that the figures presented by the ministry were submitted by the various parastatals and institutions in the ministry. She further explained that the variance in the proposals depended on the number of people enrolled in Personnel and Payment Information System (IPPIS).