By Emmanuel Elebeke
Things may be looking up for the Ministry of Communications in 2019 as the recently approved Appropriation Act makes sure every activity of the ministry receives handsome allocation.
These include research and development, R&D which will gulp N2.7billion, Computer software acquisition which gets a handsome allocation of N35.99million out of the N5 billion allocated to the ministry as capital expenditure in the 2019 budget.
Interestingly, the ministry is also to spend N50,483,854 million on miscellaneous, refreshment and meals. This one is out of the N1 billion allocated for the ministry’s recurrent expenditure for the year.
These allocations were drawn from the N17.6billion budget approved for the ministry and two of its agencies, NIGCOMSAT and NIPOST, which has N5billion capital and N12.6billion for recurrent expenditure.
According to the budget, the ministry will be spending N41.5m on miscellaneous and N8.9m on refreshment and meals.
This is even as the sum of N47.5 million was also earmarked for travel, while N734.4 is to be spent on salary of workers.
Similarly, the ministry is to spend the sum of N5.3million and N4.8million on sports activities. Monitoring and evaluation of projects will gulp the sum of N38.7million and N66.5 million for implementation of waste management data system in the FCT, while N65.3 million is earmarked for the ongoing construction of e-Government centres/kiosks.
However, the Nigerian Postal Service, NIPOST, was not as lucky. In its traditional style, NIPOST got zero allocation for capital expenditure for the year but will spend N8.9 billion on salary and other recurrent expenditure out of the same amount allocated to the agency as total allocation for the year.
The Nigeria Communications Satellite, NIGCOMSAT is to spend a total of N4.9billion as 2019 allocation. Out of this, N.4billion will be capital expenditure while N2.7billion will go for recurrent expenditure.
Out of the N2.7billion for recurrent, N2.4billion will be spent on salary.
Part of the projects marked for execution in the year include: Insurance of NIGCOMSAT 1R and Upgrade which will gulp N195.5million; turn around maintenance of NIGCOMSAT 1R Ground station and upgrade N110.4million and Wifi implementation in Lagos which will cost N150 million also this year.
From the approved budget, it was indicated that the agency will be spending N154.1million on NIGCOMSAT/Public Access Satellite TV Channel and N115.3million for NIG-KANET Network Expansion upgrade and frequency coordination.
The sum of N169.8million will be spent on Frequency Coordination while improvement of security solutions for teleport will cost N100.7million.