Joseph Inokotong, Abuja
The Ministry of Interior has said that it has so far recorded about 95.69 per cent budget performance for the year 2020, asking the National Assembly to help boost its allocations in order to continue to discharge its mandate creditably.
Minister of Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola disclosed this on Tuesday in Abuja when he received the House of Representatives Committee on Interior who were on an oversight visit to the Ministry.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Mohammed Manga, Director (Press & Public Relations), said the Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Shuaib Belgore, also expressed his concern on how low budget constraint was making coordination of paramilitary agencies under it difficult, pleading for improved budgetary allocation.
He said; ‘This is a very big ministry with a very small headquarters. We are working very hard with the resources at our disposal to ensure that we are able to fulfil those mandates that have been given to us.
‘Recent events in Nigeria have heightened the need for improved funding of internal security.
‘For some years now, the Ministry has had to work to deliver and coordinate the activities of her 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 will look forward to working with you and with your cooperation and guidance, to be able to have more resources to execute our mandate.
‘For the year ended 2019, we had a capital appropriation of N721 million only for which performance was 100 per cent. The overhead was ₦350.8 million and the expenditure performance for that was also 100 per cent. On personnel, we had ₦2.96 billion for which performance was 99.7 per cent.
‘Overall, the Ministry of Interior (headquarters) had a 99.75 per cent budget performance for the year ended in 2019.
‘For 2020, the capital appropriation for the headquarters of the Ministry up till 30th September 2020, was ₦2.61 billion and expenditure performance so far has been 94.26 per cent.
‘Also, ₦607.8 million was for overhead, with an expenditure performance of 90.14 per cent. For personnel, we had ₦915.3 million and we have 99.94 per cent performance on that.
‘So far, for 2020, we have achieved 95.69 per cent performance.’
He explained the inability of the Ministry to conclude recruitment into the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) as well as the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), saying the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the exercise recently.
Aregbesola, however, said that the Ministry has concluded plans with the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to conduct a Computer Based Test for candidates who have been shortlisted.
Earlier, Chairman of the committee, Hon. Nasiru Sani Zango-Daura who was represented by his deputy, Hon. Emmanuel Ukpon-Udo Effiong said the oversight visit was necessary as the nation prepares for the 2021 budget.
He said: ‘In preparation for the 2021 budget exercise, the House Committee on Interior resolved to embark on an oversight tour of all the ministries and agencies under its legislative and oversight jurisdiction to ascertain the level of implementation of their 2019 and 2020 appropriation.
‘Following the receipt of your 2019 and 2020 budget performance reports, we communicated our intention for an oversight visit in order to have an on-the-spot assessment of the said implementations.
‘The House Committee on Interior is here on a fact-finding and not a fault-finding mission.’