New Telegraph

Senate Decries Paltry Allocation To Labour Ministry In 2024 Budget

…Considers Upward Review Of Funding

The Senate, on Friday, decried what it considered as insufficient budgetary allocation made to the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Productivity in the 2024 Appropriation Bill.

The Senate Committee on Labour expressed the position when the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, who was present with other directors from the Ministry appeared before the Committee to defend the 2024 budget.

Consequently, the Committee promised to ensure that the allocation for the Ministry was given an upward review, to facilitate adequate implementation of the Ministry’s statutory functions in the fiscal year.

The Minister lamented the paltry allocation to the Ministry and requested the lawmakers to come to the aid of the establishment through an upward review of the budgetary allocation.

A breakdown of N13,025,595,947 allocation shows that the sum of N2,638,634,610 is proposed for overhead cost while N10,386,961,337 is proposed for capital cost.

This is against a total of N9.622 billion appropriated for 2023, of which N5.500 billion was proposed for personnel cost, N998 million for overhead cost and N3.123 billion for capital cost.

Also in 2022, a total of 14.076 was proposed of which N5.474 billion was proposed for personnel cost, N693 million for overhead cost and N7.908 for capital cost.

In his presentation, the Minister noted that the revenue generated in the previous year had increased progressively, saying: “If we are given much more, we will definitely do much more.”

Also, a former member of the House of Representatives, Nkiruka Onyejeocha, who is the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, stressed that the Ministry had had difficulties over the years in carrying out its activities due to lack of funds.

She said, “This Ministry is supposed to be registering and reviewing new factories and you know how many factories are in this country. We are not able to do that because we do not have enough funds, if we are given enough funds, we will be able to perform effectively.

“This is a Ministry that needs money to be able to activate and generate revenue.”
Issa Aremu, the Director General of Michael Imodu National Institute for Labour Studies, an agency under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, pleaded for an increase in the funds budgeted for the Ministry saying that the Ministry had a lot of projects and activities to carry out.

According to him, the money allocated to them is insufficient to carry out the tasks expected of them.

He said, “The only way we can help the President to achieve these as the Ministry in charge of employment is to increase our funds. We can’t achieve all these with this kind of budget. There is low funding for the institute. Our buildings are dilapidated, we need resources to address all these.

“The National Assembly must see the need to review this budget and the agencies under it.”

“The chairman of the committee, Senator Diket Plang (APC, Plateau Central) responded to this by saying, “If we don’t work on our laws it won’t help us. We need to understand ourselves, be on the same page and pursue the same thing to achieve one goal to move the country forward.”

In his response, Tahir Monguno ((APC, Borno North) said that the Committee has the power of appropriation and would review the budget upwards if they deem it necessary.

“Nobody should think that we don’t have the power to tinker with the budget. If in our wisdom we feel that the allocation given to the Ministry of Labour is too little we will address it.”

Accordingly, Moguno moved a motion for the funds to be increased which was seconded by Ede Dafinone (APC, Delta Central).

After being put to a voice vote, all members agreed that it should be increased.

Others present at the hearing were, Senators Babangida Hussaini (APC, Jigawa North West), Binos Yaroe (PDP, Adamawa South), Sharafadeen Abiodun (APC, Oyo South), Ede Dafinone (APC, Delta Central) and Tahir Monguno (APC, Borno North) amongst others.

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