By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
ABUJA — Two federal parastatals, the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPPS, in Kuru, Jos, are to spend N547 million on travels, meals and electricity charges next year.
The breakdown of the expenditure, which has already been captured in the 2014 budget now before the National Assembly, shows that NIPPS will spend the larger chunk of N342 million on travels and transport, N72 million on food supplies and N39 million on electricity charges within the year.
Similarly, NEMA, which handles emergency challenges, plans to dole out N60.6 million for trips, N14.8 for meals and refreshments, and N12 million for electricity charges.
The budget office, which prepares the fiscal documents for the Presidency, has put aside N39.7 million for honorarium and sitting allowances for those handling some assignments for the office within the year.
An examination of the budget document shows further that most of the items listed for implementation of the 2014 budget do not have any direct bearing or benefit for the citizenry.
Members of the National Assembly are expected to swing into action on the budget as soon as they resume from their Christmas and New Year vacation on January 14, next year.
There were fears last night that the recent defection of 37 Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP, lawmakers to All Progressives Congress, APC, would alter the tempo of debate on the budget and make it more difficult for an early agreement to be reached on the fiscal document.
The lawmakers are likely to ask the executive to give a detailed account of the outgoing year before agreeing to pass the next budget into law.