Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Okonjo-Iweala defends budget of N43million to fumigate Ministry of Finance

The Ministry of Finance has risen to defend its 2013 budget which included a plan to to fumigate the Ministry at the cost of  N43,381,673 , claiming the proposed budget is “prudent and reasonable.”Despite the widespread condemnation that greeted the planned fumigation of the Ministry with N43 million, the Ministry in a statement on Monday stated that “the proposed annual budget for cleaning and fumigating the premises of the ministry at N43,381,673 is certainly within the parameters of industry standards.”
The statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mr Paul C Nwabuikwu, noted that “it is also important to keep in mind that the ministry is facing serious structural and environment challenges which have made these services very necessary” as he seeks to explain the need for the fumigation.The Ministry has faced a massive outcry following a breakdown of the 2013 budget that revealed that the nation’s treasury will be spending that much on fumigation.Responding to the backlash, the Ministry claimed it total budget proposal of N5,599,576,180, “represents 0.11% of the entire budget estimates”, while “the budget for the Ministry together with its agencies is N14,759,952,111.”“This comes to 0.30% of the total budget” it explained, adding that “the provisions made for personnel, overheads, sitting allowances and travels, training and so on are modest and justifiable.”The statement listed the agencies as Debt Management Office, Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Investment and Securities Tribunal and the National Insurance Commission.The statement from the Ministry, urged Nigerians to “keep in mind that the ministry pays for a lot of studies and investigations done for other parts of government in various areas of economic reform, including pensions, public service reforms, housing and mortgage etc.”“It also hosts experts from within and outside the country in technical sessions and meetings in line with its mandate” Mr Nwabuikwu stated.The statement concluded that the Ministry under the leadership of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is “very conscious of its key role and will continue to lead by example in areas under its mandate.”“The focus as always is on managing the finances of the country in a manner that protects and enhances the interests of the country” it concluded.source;channelstv

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