#SaatahBudgetSeries – FEDERAL MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY – @Saatah
Welcome to piece number seven in the #SaatahBudgetSeries. If this is the first piece you are reading, I will advise that you find the previous six articles in this series and peruse them with all seriousness—you need to know what the Nigerian government will spend money on.
Today, we will be taking a look at the budget for the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology. But before I proceed, let me first make known the agencies/institutions that fall under this Ministry: Ministry of Communication Technology HQTRS, Nigeria Communication Satellite, and the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST).
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY
The total budget for the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology is 15,997,128,516; 9,917,128,516 is for “Recurrent Expenditure” and 6,080,000,000 is for “Capital Expenditure.”
1,000,500,000 is what the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology has budgeted to spend on “Purchase of Office Furniture and Fittings.” I am still trying to understand this particular item, but let us compare notes. According to documents available to me, former Governor Rotimi Amaechi budgeted 9,837,700,000 for the construction of 485 Model Primary Schools when he governed Rivers State (only 116 were completed). Now if we break down this figure, we will see that 1,000,500,000, the amount the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology will spend on office furniture can get us almost 60 Model Primary Schools ( based on what Amaechi budgeted while he was Governor). A look at the budget for the Federal Ministry of Power/Works and Housing also shows that they will construct one skills acquisition centre for 172,623,767, so how many skills acquisition centres can we get with the 1,000,500,000 the people at the Ministry of Communication Technology budgeted for “Office Furniture and Fittings”? I will leave you to answer that question.
Apart from the 1,000,500,000, the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology will also spend 152,601,423 to “Rehabilitate/Repair Office Buildings.” I will suggest that they build an entirely new Ministry building since they have decided to be parochial in their thinking.
9,301,486 is set aside for the “Rehabilitation/Repairs of Boundaries.” This particular item got me pretty confused. Does “Boundary” there mean our territorial boundary, or their office boundary? Or is it a new communication technology term? I would really love to know, because it seems the people at the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology don’t know the boundary between a joke and a National budget.
8,000,000 will be used to “Present a Masterplan to the Federal Executive Council” while another 19,480,500 will be spent on the “Media Conference on the Masterplan.” You would think I am making these absurdities up, but far from it, these items are in our budget.
2,916,001,226 will be spent on (please don’t laugh) “Procurement of the Equipment and its Accessories.” Firstly, what “the Equipment” is being referred to here? What are the “Accessories”? They failed to make this known, but yet appended the lump sum of 2,916,001,226 to this unknown equipment and its accompanying accessories.
37,994,900 will be for “Concrete and Block Works.” This particular item is so funny that I cannot help but suspect that a marketer from Dangote Cement, who has been given a target for cement sales sneaked into the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology to put that in. We are definitely not a serious country.
17,750,000 is for the “Administration/Supervision of the Work.” the 2016 budget should be a case study of “How not to disgrace a country.” What “Work” will need supervision? And even if it needs supervision, what are the people earning salaries at the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology earning salary for, shouldn’t that be someone’s job? What is this “work” in the first place? This is an insult to our sensibilities, to be honest.
4,218,010 is for “Block Works.” “Fellow Nigerians,” at this point, I will urge the Federal Government to investigate Dangote, there are just too many “Blocks” in this budget.
“Finishing” will cost 80,310,392. And just when I thought we had finished with everything that had to do with “finishing,” I saw another 1,083,476 for yet another “Finishing.” Like Jesus said at the cross, “it is finished” or if I may paraphrase, we are finished!
832,800 is for “Supervision of the Work,” another 381,600 for “Supervision of the Work,” yet another 2,064,000 for “Supervision of the Work,” and yet another 1,231,600 for “Supervision of the Work.” Don’t forget that I brought to your attention earlier the sum of 17,750,000 also meant for “Administration/Supervision of the Work.”
I think we have gotten to the most insensitive, callous, disgraceful and out rightly stupid part of the budget for the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology. 585,000,000 will be spent on the “Purchase of Chairs,” while another 415,500,000 will be used to “Purchase Tables.” I really do not have much to say about these particular items. I actually feel bad for the people of the Niger Delta; the people whose resources will be exploited to fund this budget, the people whose environment will be degraded to the barest survivable state. It is from that money, pain and suffering that 1,000,000,000 (One billion Naira) will be used to “Purchase Tables and Chairs.”
The Nigeria Communication Satellite will spend 318,009,860 for the “Provision of Broadband Internet Services to the National Assembly.” I do not see anything that makes this particular item sensible or necessary. The National Assembly (as useless as they have been) do not deserve internet connection. They can and should continue using the “suggestion boxes” they commissioned. With a budget of 115,000,000,000, I think the National Assembly should pay for their own “Internet Services,” that is if they even know what the “internet” is.
6,694,205,844 is the entire budget for NIPOST and all of it will be spent on “Salaries and Wages.” I would love to know how much revenue NIPOST generates.
We have come to the end of the seventh part of this budget analysis series, and as painful as it is to go through these insulting provisions, I will still have to leave you with a little in-between: The National Lottery Trust Fund will spend 500,600,000 for the “Acquisition of Land for Office Building.” That is what I call a jackpot. Have a wonderful day!
Saatah Nubari is on Twitter @Saatah