OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives Committee on Regional Planning and Urban Development on Thursday rejected the 2019 budget proposal of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing brought by the Minister of State, Baba Mustapha Shehuri and the Permanent Secretary, Muhammad Bukar.
The committee said the proposal was riddled with lots of “copy and paste” items referring to repetitions of previous expenditures and ambiguous classifications in the recurrent budget.
The lawmakers who frowned at the lack of details of expenditure for the 2018 appropriation also demanded the inclusion of overhead column on the document with accurate accounts of releases and how they were spent before the 2019 proposal could be considered.
A question from a member of the committee, Mr. Ossai Nichola Ossai (PDP, Delta) regarding details of personnel spending as it relates to unit-by-unit allocations threw the ministry’s representatives off balance.
A demand by the committee for details of staff who traveled for a certain African Union event and how much was spent per head, could not be provided. The committee in similar move, called for details of another trip relating to a UN Habitat event which coincided with the General Assembly in 2018.
The Permanent Secretary, Mr. Bukar, while responding to questions told lawmakers that personnel cost is not being managed by the Ministry but the new Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). He therefore craved for the panel’s indulgence for time to enable him get the details before the end of Thursday.
On why the 2019 document was a ‘photocopy’ of 2018, a director in charge of Finance in the Urban and Regional Development Department struggled with words to respond.