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…N/Delta gets N111bn in 2014 budget

The total budget, presented to parliament on Thursday by the minister of Finance Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is  N4.91 trillion.Out of the sum, Ministry of Niger…

The total budget, presented to parliament on Thursday by the minister of Finance Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is  N4.91 trillion.
Out of the sum, Ministry of Niger Delta gets N111.133 billion while the Ministry of Agriculture receives N66.644 billion and Science and Technology gets N30.846 billion.
Niger Delta Ministry’s allocation went up by about N46.4 billion, or 41 percent increase, compared to 2013 appropriation of N64.7 billion.   
President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration at many occasions reiterates his commitments towards making agriculture a key priority under his transformation agenda.
The Niger Delta Ministry’s main mandate is administering the Amnesty Programme for ex- militants and executing other intervention development projects in the region.
The ministry was created in September 2008 by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to formulate and coordinate policies for the development and security of the Niger Delta region.
Since the introduction of the Amnesty programme by federal government for ex-militants, the budget of the ministry keeps growing year after year.
The science ministry, with over 30 agencies and parastatals, and agriculture ministry with almost 50 parastatals are among the largest federal ministries.
Agricultural sector accounts for over 26.8% of GDP and two-thirds of employment.
Some observers believe that the process of earmarking huge appropriation to Niger Delta ministry above the some key ministries, is not helpful to the economy.
Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, told Daily Trust that the 2014 budget is simply encouraging corruption in the system.
He said the huge provision to the amnesty programme above that of main sectors is just encouraging more youths to engage in different sorts of militancy in the country.

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