Wednesday, February 3, 2016 3:54 pm
Officials of the Ministry of Interior who appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Interior to defend the 2016 budget on Tuesday found it hard to convince the lawmakers that the budget proposal of N6.2billion for Research and Development and an extra N200 million to be expended on computer equipment and software are not overly bloated.
Although the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Bassey Akayong explained that N6.2 billion is required for the purpose of research into projects in police formations, while N200 million would be needed for the introduction of major ICT equipment this year for the software that would drive the system at the ministry, the lawmakers considered the amount excessive.
Baballe Bashiru, a member of the committee was puzzled about the fact that just as the Interior Ministry has proposed, purchase of computers had become a yearly routine in the budgets of ministries, departments and agencies that cannot be justified. “Why do we have to purchase computers every year? The N200 million for computer software is too much,” he said. Majority of the committee members were also not convinced that bills covering the research process that the ministry plans to pay should gulp an amount as huge as N6.2billion.
The lawmakers appeared even less convinced when the permanent secretary, in an attempt to drive home the claim that the purpose for the research is worthwhile, declared that it would be conducted into deviant behaviour towards understanding why people acquired negative tendencies. The total budget for the Ministry of Interior in 2016 is N145.3 billion.