Budget Padding: N47.5 Billion for 50 Schools with No Given Locations

by Ohepo Ohepo

The now-suspended Senator Abdul Ningi said two weeks ago, according to SaharaReporters, that the Senate leadership inflated the 2024 budget by N3.7 trillion.

The Ministry of Education’s budget for 2024 included N47.5 billion for the restoration and provision of educational resources in 50 schools throughout the country, according to information obtained as Nigerians continue to investigate the purported padding of the budget enacted by the National Assembly. The schools’ locations were not specified.

The now-suspended Senator Abdul Ningi said two weeks ago, according to SaharaReporters, that the Senate leadership inflated the 2024 budget by N3.7 trillion.

Bauchi Central member Ningi of the Peoples Democratic Party had claimed that the president and the Senate leadership, led by Godswill Akpabio, had inflated the budget that was being implemented. He claimed that the National Assembly’s approved budget and the government’s implementation of it differed.

Page 377 of the 2024 Appropriations Act, on the other hand, states that N47.5 billion was given to “fifty selected Government Secondary Schools Across the Nation for infrastructure upgrade and provision of Education materials and teaching tools” under the Federal Ministry of Education line item (ERGP20243999).

Oseni Rufai, the anchor of Arise News TV, shared the budget sheet on his X handle and questioned whether it confirmed some of Senator Ningi’s concerns about the federal government’s current budget.

He wrote: “50 schools in Nigeria, the sites of which are unknown, will undergo renovations thanks to a ₦47.5 billion budget approved by the Ministry of Education. Does this support some of Senator Abdul Ningi’s concerns?

A number of Nigerian X users have expressed dissatisfaction with the number of purportedly dishonest and unlawful actions within the government apparatus.

“The biggest problem in Nigeria is transparency,” @chuudi01@ commented. They purposefully omitted locations so that no one would be able to watch over or inquire about them.

@FACT_UNDISPUTED bemoaned the fact that politicians in Nigeria are now accustomed to embezzling and stealing public funds. Nigerian politicians are skilled at embezzling and stealing state monies. They are aware that Nigerians don’t give a damn. According to the X user, “People have modified their lifestyles to accommodate the hardships and current circumstances in town.”

“The ₦47.5 billion allotment for school renovations without disclosing the locations raises valid concerns about transparency and accountability in government spending,” @SamuelUzuegbu said.

“This circumstance supports Senator Abdul Ningi’s worries over budgetary procedures and oversight, emphasizing the necessity for closer examination and more transparency in resource distribution to guarantee efficient use of public monies. #OpennessIsExcellent #AccountabilityIsRequired.”

“It is challenging to accurately assess the concerns raised by Senator Abdul Ningi without additional information on the specifics of his concerns,” stated @advocatepubli. Nonetheless, it is possible to view the ₦47.5 billion allotted for the refurbishment of 50 schools in Nigeria as a sizable investment in the field of education.

“The effective and open use of these monies will determine how this allocation affects the standard of instruction and the learning environment in these institutions. The Ministry of Education must make certain that the repair projects are completed successfully and that the money allotted are put to good use.”

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