The Nigeria Postal Service ( NIPOST), received zero allocation from N137.2 billion capital votes earmarked for the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy as well as the three Parastatals under it.
While in the proposed N160.593 billion budget for the Ministry, NIGCOMSAT, NIPOST and National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), the Ministry got N85.231 billion for capital votes, NIMC receipt N46.533 billion and NIGCOMSAT N5.440 billion, NIPOST has zero allocation.
Information to this effect was given to the joint committee of the National Assembly on Communication during the budget defence session it had with the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami and heads of agencies under the Ministry at the National Assembly on Thursday.
Dissatisfied with the proposal of the Committee, Chaired by Senator Oluremi Tinubu ( APC Lagos Central ), he said it was wrong for the agency not to be given any capital vote for the 2022 fiscal year.
Senator Tinubu specifically asked the Minister whether the zero capital budget allocation proposed for NIPOST in 2022 was based on non-request by the agency or lack of funds.
The Committee, she added, may have to appropriate something for the agency if there is no solid reason for the zero allocation.
The Minister in his response said he was not against some votes taken from the capital estimates of the Ministry for NIPOST.
” I’m not against the Committee taking about N200 million from N85.231 billion capital vote of the Ministry to NIPOST”, he said.
He added that unbundling NIPOST will be carried out in 2022 by setting up three different agencies out of it, particularly Property and Development Company that will manage the 2,500 properties of the agency scattered across the country.
Out of the total budget profile of N160.593 billion proposed for the Ministry and the three agencies under it, the Minister said the Ministry has a total of N86.488 billion, NIGCOMSAT N8.226 billion, NIPOST N13.116 billion and NIMC N52.761 billion.
When asked about the increase observed in the personnel cost of the Ministry which rose from N981m appropriated in 2020 to N1.032 billion proposed for the 2022 fiscal year, the Minister said the increase arose from salaries of newly recruited staff posted to the Ministry by the Federal Civil Service Commission. NAIJATABLOID