NIPOST excluded from ministry’s 2022 budget N137.2b capital vote
The Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) has been excluded from the N137.2 billion capital vote of the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy captured in the 2022 budget.
In the proposed N160.593 billion for the coming fiscal year, the Nigerian Communications Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) and National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) got N5.440 billion and N46.533 billion in capital votes, the ministry had N85.231 billion, while NIPOST was allocated nothing.
The disclosure came to the fore during the ministry’s budget defence session before the Joint Committee of the National Assembly on Communications attended by the minister, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami and heads of relevant agencies, yesterday, in Abuja.
Disturbed by the development, the committee chairman, Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC: Lagos Central), inquired from the minister if the decision was based on non-request by the agency or lack of fund, adding that the lawmakers might be forced to appropriate funds for NIPOST in the absence of solid reasons.
Responding, Pantami said he was not against a share of the ministry being given to the postal agency.
“I am not against the committee taking about N200 million from the N85.231 billion capital vote of the ministry for NIPOST,” he said.
The minister added NIPOST’s unbundling into three agencies would take place next year.
One of the units to be birthed from the exercise, Property and Development Company, is to manage the 2,500 properties of the organisation scattered over the country.
Out of the overall budget of N160.593 billion proposed for the ministry and the three agencies under it, the Pantami said the ministry has a total of N86.488 billion, NIGCOMSAT, N8.226 billion, NIPOST N13.116 billion and NIMC, N52.761 billion.
When asked about increase in the personnel cost of the ministry, which rose from N981 million captured in 2020 to N1.032 billion proposed for 2022, the minister said the rise arose from salaries of newly recruited workers deployed by the Federal Civil Service Commission.