State House Says 5.196b Naira Released From Its 2016 Budget

Jalal Arabi, State House, 2016 Budget
State House Permanent Secretary, Mr Jalal Arabi

The State House says it has received a total of 5.196 billion naira as capital release from the 2016 budget amounting to 47.5% of its budget.

This was disclosed by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Jalal Arabi, who said the released amount of 4.8 billion naira (93.1%) has so far been expended on the projects for which the funds were tied and released.

A balance of 5.745 billion naira representing 52.5% is yet to be released.

Mr Arabi also disclosed that for the 2017 budget, the State House had reprioritised projects in the medical centre and suspended most of its capital expenditure proposals at the moment.

However, he said that the State House would take advantage of the supplementary budget window when necessary.

The Permanent Secretary made the disclosure on Thursday at a meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Special Duties who were on an oversight visit to the State House in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The committee was inaugurated by the Speaker of the House, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, and has Representative Nasiru Daura as its chairman.

Mr Arabi said that the 2017 budget has been reviewed downwards to 13,567,979,278.72 naira for 2017 from 16,563,395,992.00 naira.

He noted that all allocations for the 2016 recurrent expenditure had been received up to and including the month of December 2016, adding that the capital releases were made for three out of five subheads in the State House budget.

Earlier, Representative Daura said that the lawmakers were at the State House to determine the level of implementation of the 2016 budget, and also on a fact finding mission to inspect completed and ongoing projects at the Presidential Villa.

He observed that the visit would help to correct the ongoing misinformation about State House, as well as curb corruption and ensure that Nigeria comes out of recession.

Presidency Commences Pre-Retirement Training For Employees

BuhariThe Presidency, Thursday in Abuja, commenced a vocational and entrepreneurial programme to prepare its staff adequately for retirement.

Declaring open a two-day workshop for State House staff, who are about to retire, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Jalal Arabi, said the programme was also designed to prepare them mentally and psychologically for retirement.

“What the State House has set out to do is to commence a process of early pre-retirement training for potential retirees.

“This is in the firm belief that adequate planning for retirement will make life after retirement much more attractive,” Mr Arabi said.

The Permanent Secretary said that the overall aim of the Presidency was to ensure that all staff undergo pre-retirement training at least 3-4 years before their retirement.

“This approach is based on the realization that it usually takes about three years to incubate and develop most business ideas,’’ he said.

81 prospective retirees are being trained on livestock, fisheries management, personal finance planning and other useful skills and vocations at the workshop which opened on Thursday, April 7, 2016.

Permanent Secretary Explains State House Medical Centre Budget

BudgetThe Permanent Secretary of the State House, Mr Jalal Arabi, has reacted to criticisms that the 3.219 billion naira budget for the State House Medical Center is over bloated.

Mr Arabi appeared before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs and the House Committee on Special Duties, to defend the 2016 budget appropriation to the state house.

Having given a breakdown of some of the key areas of the budget before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, the amount allocated to the medical centre attracted most criticism. The same questions he faced at the House of Representatives Committee on Special Duties.

The Permanent Secretary explained that the State House, among others, extends to Marina and the Dordan Barracks in Lagos and most of the infrastructure in the places are calling for attention and need to be made to function optimally, hence the need for increase in budgetary allocation to the State House.

He said that the improvement of the medical center will propel it to serve as a center of excellence and reduce medical tourism.

He added that the medical center does not charge fees for its services and hence does not generate revenue for itself.

The committees are expected to take their findings to the Senate and House of Reps hoping that the budget will be passed.