The Senate has resolved to increase the 2024 Budget of the ministry of labour and productivity to enable more revenue generation
The senate committee on labour and productivity has considered the need for increased revenue generation and accordingly raised the 2024 budgetary allocation of the ministry of labour, productivity, and employment.
This followed requests from ministers in the ministry during the 2024 budget defence on Friday, December 8, 2023.
While the amount of raise was not disclosed, the ministry got a 2024 budget allocation of N13,025,595,947. Of this figure, N2,638,634,610 is proposed for overhead cost while N10,386,961,337 is for capital expenditure.
This is higher than the N9.622 billion appropriated for 2023 of which N5.500 billion was for personnel, and N998 million to cover overhead and the balance of N3.123 billion was to cater for capital costs.
Also in 2022, a total of 14.076 was allocated out of which N5.474 billion went for personnel cost, N693 million for overhead and N7.908 was invested in capital expenditure.
The minister, Simon Lalong, who was present with other directors from the ministry, noted that the revenue generated in the previous year had increased progressively but pleaded for more cash, saying,“if we are given much more, we will definitely do much more.”
His plea was supported by the minister of state, Nkiruka Onyejeocha, who was a 3rd term member of the House of Representatives. She stressed that the ministry has had difficulties over the years in carrying out its activities due to lack of funds.
“This Ministry is supposed to be registering and reviewing new factories and you know how many factories are in this country. We are not able to do that because we do not have enough funds, if we are given enough funds, we will be able to perform effectively. This is a ministry that needs money to be able to activate and generate revenue,” she said.
Issa Aremu, the Director General of Michael Imodu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), an agency under the ministry, pleaded for an increase in the funds budgeted as the money allocated to them is insufficient to carry out the tasks expected.
He said: “The only way we can help the President to achieve these as the Ministry incharge of employment is to increase our funds. We can’t achieve all these with this kind of budget. There is low funding for the institute. Our building are dilapidated, we need resources to address all these. The National Assembly must see the need to review this budget and the agencies under it.”
Chairman of the committee, Senator Diket Plang (APC, Plateau Central), in a response, concurred with the arguments of the officials and put the question for a raise to members pressent at the session.
In his response,Sen. Tahir Monguno ((APC Borno North) said the committee has the power of appropriation and they will review the budget upwards if they deem it necessary, adding that “nobody should think that we don’t have the power to tinker with the budget. If in our wisdom we feel that the allocation given to the ministry is too little we will address it.”
Following this statement, Moguno moved a motion for the funds to be increased which was seconded by Sen. Ede Dafinone (APC, Delta Central). After being put to a voice vote, all members agreed that it should be increased.
Other senators present at the hearing were: Babangida Hussaini (APC, Jigawa North West), Binos Yaroe (PDP, Adamawa South), and Sharafadeen Abiodun (APC, Oyo South).