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Minister, NTI boss argue over SMASE 2012 budget

By Favour Nnabugwu

ABUJA— Drama ensued at the Ministry of Education, yesterday, between the Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike and Director-General of National Teachers Institute, NTI, Dr. Ladan Sharehu, over the disparity in Strengthening Mathematics and Science Education, SMASE, proposed budget.

The minister and Sharehu had, in Abuja on Monday, argued over the proposed budget of SMASE which Wike said was N87 million, but the NTI boss, who also serves as Chairman of the Ministerial Committee on the Review of the Implementation of SMASE Nigeria project, claimed it was N100 milion that was proposed for the project, for which only N34 million was released.

The minister stood his ground, insisting it was N87 million that was proposed and not N100 million as stated by the NTI boss.

Wike said: “I remember that in your proposal, it was N87 million and not N100 million. Where did you get that from? You want to add N13 million more?

“What you could not get from the door, you think you can get it from the window?”

However, Sharehu insisted that a proposal of N100 million was submitted to the minister, out of which only N34 million was given.

He, however, appealed to the minister to intervene in the 2013 budget, adding that if funds were not released, nothing much would be achieved.

Sharehu further argued that the committee could achieve little results due to inadequate funds from the Federal Government.

Wike then told the Ministerial Committee to make funds available for the project through counterpart funding.

He said: “I have directed that it should be included in the counterpart funding to promote the teaching of science and Mathematics in the country.”

Wike, however, warned heads of parastatals, who were in attendance, to desist from nonchalant attitude typical of civil servants.

Members of the committee include Prof. Muhammad Junaid, Prof. Godswill Obioma, Prof. Charles Onocha, Prof. Adewale Solarin and Dr. Ahmed Bello and Engr. Micheal Ofor, who was dropped yesterday because he was absent from the meeting.


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