The Nigeria Postal Service (NIPOST) got zero allocation from N137.2billion capital votes earmarked for the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy as well as the three parastatals under it in the proposed 2022 budget.
The same parastatal is also billed for unbundling into three agencies by the Federal government next year.
In the proposed N160.593billion budget for the Ministry, NIGCOMSAT, NIPOST and NIMC, the main ministry got N85.231billion for capital votes , NIMC N46.533billion, NIGCOMSAT N5.440billion while NIPOST has zero allocation.
Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, made the disclosure on Thursday while defending his Ministry’s 2022 budget estimate before the joint committee of the National Assembly on Communication.
Reacting to the proposal, the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Oluremi Tinubu said it was wrong for the agency not to be allocated any capital vote for 2022 fiscal year.
The ranking Senator thereafter asked the Minister whether the zero capital budget allocation proposed for NIPOST in 2022 was based on non – request by the agency or lack of fund.
The Commitee, she added , may have no choice but to appropriate something for the agency if there is no valid reason for the zero allocation.
Responding to Senator Tinubu’s explanation, Pantami said he was not against some votes taken from the capital estimates of the Ministry for NIPOST.
He said: “I’m not against the Committee taking about N200million from N85.231billion capital vote of the Ministry to NIPOST”.
The Minister also stated that out of the 2022 total budget profile of N160.593billion proposed for the Ministry and the three agencies under it, the Ministry got a total of N86.488billion, NIGCOMSAT N8.226billion, NIPOST N13.116billion and NIMC N52.761billion.
On the increase observed in the personnel cost of the Ministry which rose from N981m OKappropriated in 2020 to N1.032billion proposed for 2022 fiscal year, Pantami attributed the increase to emoluments of newly recruited staff posted to the Ministry by the Federal Civil Service Commission.
The Minister also disclosed that unbundling of NIPOST will be carried out in 2022 by setting up three different agencies out of it particularly Property and Development Company that will manage the 2,500 properties of the agency scattered across the country.