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2017 Budget: Senate Queries NERDC Over High Overhead Cost

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Senate Committee on Basic Education on Tuesday queried the management of the Nigeria Education Research and Development Council (NERDC) over high overhead cost of the agency in 2017 budget proposals.

The NERDC Executive Secretary, Professor Ismail Junaid had in the 2017 budget of the research council before the committee disclosed that N244million was proposed for overhead cost aside major recurrent expenditure to cover salaries and emolument of staffers of the agency .

But the committee felt uncomfortable with the proposal more so, when it discovered that out of the figure, a whopping N30million was budgeted for security services, N15million for fumigation, N19million for powering of generator among others.

A member of the committee, Senator Binta Garuba Marshi (APC Adamawa North) wondered why overhead cost of such an agency would be far more than half of its capital vote going by N377million proposed for that.

But the NERDC boss when called upon to defend the proposals said they were arrived at based on operational realities on ground for the agency.

According to him, the overhead cost for powering of generators was high because the research council is situated in a remote area (Sheda) several kilometers outside Abuja metropolis where residents hardly enjoy electricity supply.

“We run the council on daily basis through power from generators and not from electricity provided by any of the DISCOs”, he said.

He seized the opportunity to inform the committee members that the council had concluded work on curriculum for History as a subject to be taught at basic education level in the country as directed by the Committee last year but requested it to appropriate money for the council for implementation of the new idea from the next academic session.

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