Budget of petroleum ministry is an unserious proposal – NASS

Beloved JohnDecember 19, 20233 min

The National Assembly joint committee condemned the N9.6 billion 2024 budget allocation of federal ministry of petroleum resources

Sen Jarigbe on petroleum resource budget
Sen. Jarigbe-Agom

The 2024 budget proposal of the ministry of petroleum resources does not support the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu, and therfore needs to be increaesd.

This was made known during defence meeting of the ministry on Monday, December 18, 2023, at the National Assembly.

Members of the National Assembly joint committee described the budget as watery and unworkable.

According to the co-chairman of the joint committee, Sen. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, (PDP, Cross River) the budget presented to the committee failed to capture critical projects under the ministry’s jurisdiction.

Sen. Jarigbe, in his opening remark, said the budget did not align with the goals outlined by the president who is also the substantive minister of petroleum. He also said the budget shows the lackadaisical attitude of the officials of the ministry. 

The budget of the ministry of petroleum resources is neither here nor there. It does not reflect the policy direction of the President on the use of natural gas as an alternative source of fuel. 

The capital budget of N5.8 billion for a ministry that is critical to achieving the natural gas revolution of the federal government and ameliorating the hardship posed by the masses smacks of unseriousness,” he said. 

A member of the committee, Rep. Nnamdi Ezechi (PDP, Delta) described the budget as unpalatable, noting that it failed to cover the interest of host communities across the country.

This budget is not palatable. Except there’s something else hidden under the budget, this is not a budget show concern about host communities,” he said. 

Another member of the committee, Rep. Ojogo Kimikanboh (APC, Ondo) said, “the budget presented before us is watery and appears unworkable. The ministry appears lethargic. There’s an opportunity in the PIB act that allows the ministry to go into serious business in terms of investment and rake in money for the federation.”

The proposed budget for 2024 is N9.64 for the ministry with overhead cost pegged at N3.18b; recurrent at N4.2b; and capital pegged at N5.4b. 

However, lawmakers who reacted to the budget at the defence hearing, complained that the N9.6b budget presented is significantly low for the ministry given its responsibilities.

In response to this appraisal by the lawmakers, the minister of state for petroleum resources, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, said the budget proposed for 2024 was higher than the ministry’s allocation in the previous years by 500 per cent. 

He, however, urged lawmakers to make amendments and increase the amount proposed if they see a need for it. 

“The budget is just an estimate. It is entirely within the discretion of the National Assembly to Scrutinise the budget and if there are amendments to be made, they can do that. This budget is a good starting point, but if we are given anything more, we’ll accept it. But this is 500 times higher than what was allocated to us in the previous year,” he said.

Beloved John

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