2020 Budget: Akume seeks more funding for special duties ministry

The Minister for Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, on Monday, canvassed for more funds be made available to the ministry to enable it effectively carry out its responsibilities.

Speaking before the House of Representatives Committee on Special Duties headed by Rep Sumaila Suleiman while defending its 2020 budget, Akume revealed that the challenges plaguing the Ministry “is mainly insufficient budgetary provision.”

Under this, he listed the counterpart funding on international partnership Projects and Programmes, office accommodation, furniture, fitting and equipment, maintenance and services as part of the challenges.

He also said that the ministry’s mandate to verify and monitor the implementation of Zonal intervention/Constituency projects across the 360 federal Constituencies and 109 Senatorial Districts including the FCT needs more funding.

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According to him, “quite frankly, we’re saying that when you look at the totality of our responsibilities and functions, then, these funds appropriated are not enough. We do recognize however that we have paucity of funds.

“But at the same time we believe that where there are some marginal increases in critical areas, we will be placed in a more comfortable manner to deliver on the huge mandate given to us.”

While speaking on the 2020 budget of the ministry which comprises of overhead N608, 407,074. 00 (which constitutes total for the Ministry excluding zonal intervention/constituency, and projects for the three tiers of government) and Capital is N940,039, 288.00.

Speaking on the proposed Capital budget of the Ministry and its agencies under it, he said while the main ministry is proposing N930, 039,288.00, (60.16 per cent) the Nigerian Lottery Regulatory Commission is proposing N440, 642,704.00 (28.20 per cent), and that of the Nigerian Lottery Trust Fund is N101, 559, 431.00 (6.50 per cent) and Nigerian National Merit Award N80, 379,172.00 (5.14 per cent).

The Chairman of the Committee Rep Sumaila Suleiman (APC Kaduna) said there was the need to critically look at the ministry’s budget.

The Committee Chairman, Rep Suleiman, said the committee would look into the budget of the ministry with a view of resolving its problems.

According to him, ” we’ve heard from the honourable minister, we should look at what they’ve presented, importantly the challenges. Critical areas where we need to intervene, critical areas we need to up should be looked at after the budget session, and be considered most appropriate.”