The Federal Interior Ministry said it has so far posted a budget performance of around 95.69 percent for 2020, and called on the National Assembly to help increase its appropriations to continue to serve its mandate credibly.
The Interior Minister, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, revealed this on Tuesday when he received the House Committee on the Interior that was on a supervisory visit to the ministry.
The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Shaibu Belgore, also lamented how low budget restrictions were making it difficult for paramilitary agencies to coordinate in this area, advocating for greater economic fortune.
He said; “This is a very large ministry with a very small headquarters. We work very hard with the resources at our disposal to ensure we can fulfill the mandates that have been entrusted to us. Recent events in Nigeria have increased the need to improve internal security funding.
“For some years now, the ministry has had to work to deliver and coordinate the activities of its agencies with a really very low budget line. The result of that is that the coordination has not been as effective as it should be. However, there have been recent improvements and we look forward to working with you and your cooperation and guidance so that we have more resources to carry out our mandate.
“For the year ending in 2019, we had a capital allocation of Naira 721 million only for which the return was 100 percent. The overhead was £ 350.8 million and the return on expense was also 100 per cent. In staff, we had £ 2.96 billion, which returned 99.7 per cent.
“In general, the (headquarters) of the Ministry of the Interior had a budget performance of 99.75 percent for the year ended in 2019.
“For 2020, the capital allocation for the ministry headquarters through September 30, 2020 was ₦ 2.61 billion and the spending performance so far has been 94.26 percent. Additionally, £ 607.8 million went to overhead, with a return on spending of 90.14 per cent. For staff we had £ 915.3 million and we are 99.94 per cent return on that.
“So far, for 2020, we have achieved a return of 95.69 percent.”
He explained the ministry’s inability to conclude recruitment at the Nigerian Civil Defense and Security Corps NSCDC, as well as the Nigerian Immigration Service NIS, and said the COVID-19 pandemic did not allow such an exercise.
Belgore, however, said the ministry has finalized plans with the JAMB Joint Enrollment and Admissions Board to conduct a computer-based test for candidates who have been shortlisted.
Earlier, the committee chair, Hon. Nasiru Sani Zango-Daura, who was represented by his deputy, Hon. Emmanuel Ukpon-Udo Effiong, said the supervisory visit was necessary as the nation prepares for the 2021 budget.
He said; “In preparation for budget year 2021, the House Interior Committee decided to embark on an oversight tour of all ministries and agencies under its legislative and oversight jurisdiction to determine the level of implementation of its allocation for 2019 and 2020.
“After receiving your 2019 and 2020 budget performance reports, we communicated our intention to conduct a monitoring visit to have an on-the-spot assessment of these implementations.
“The House Committee on the Interior is here on an investigative mission, not a fault finding mission.”