Senate committee on education uncovered fraud in Ministry of Education budget.
Ministry of Education could not give reason for the increase.
The committee ordered the ministry to rework on the budget and come up with reasonable figure
The Senate committee on education on Monday, February 2, uncovered about N9, 982,258,479 hidden in the 2016 budget of parastatals by the Federal Ministry of Education.
The huge discovery was made by the committee at the commencement of its 2016 budget defence stating that the amount was hidden in the ministry’s parastatals.
The committee queried why the parastatals allocation for 2016 increase by almost N10 billion while the entire personnel cost of the ministry and all its subsidiaries including schools and colleges declined sharply in comparison to last year figure.
This prompted the chairman of the committee, Senator Aliyu Wamakko, to order the permanent secretary and the ministry to take a second look at the figure and come up with a more reasonable overhead cost.
The committee averred that the huge sum was deliberately hidden under parastatals’s personnel cost.
A breakdown of the budgetary figure for the Ministry of Education showed that the ministry’s parastatals personnel cost rose from N88.1 billion in 2015 to as high as N98.1 billion in 2016 estimate proposals while the personnel budget of universities reduced by as much as N16.245 billion, declining from N222.7 billion in 2015 to N211.0 billion in 2016.
Also, colleges of education budget decreased from N40.2 billion in 2015 to N37.6 billion, while polytechnics’ personnel cost which previously stood at N61.44 billion in 2015 was trimmed to N58.23 billion just as unity colleges’ budget had been cut from N288.7billion to N7.588 billion.
When the minister for state for education, Professor Anthony Anwuka and the permanent secretary in the ministry, Folasade Yemi-Esan, appeared before the committee, the minister disclosed that N483.183 billion was budgeted for education in 2015 but only N13.279 billion was released.
The Ministry of Education was asked by the committee to go double check on its figure and fix what needed to be fixed before the commencement of the next defence.