Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The five new ministries that were created last month by the federal government are running on a zero budget, THISDAY checks revealed last night.
The newly created ministries are Humanitarians Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; Police Affairs; Special Duties and International Affairs; Aviation and Power.
Some of the ministers, who were sworn in on August 21 by President Muhammadu Buhari, are also without designated offices. Information gathered by THISDAY last night revealed that some of the ministers have been running the affairs of their ministries from make shift offices.
For instance, the Minister of Special Duties and International Affairs, Senator George Akume, is reportedly running the ministry from a place near the Ministry of Niger Delta, while the Minister of Humanitarians Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq, is also running the ministry from the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, which was her last designation as a former federal commissioner before she was appointed a minister.
Impeccable sources clarified that the new ministries were created by a presidential fiat and were not captured in this year’s budget.
The source added that President Muhammadu Buhari was empowered to establish the new ministries and source for funds for them.
THISDAY also scooped that some of the ministers had at different times met with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, to draw their attention to their present flight.
“I can’t give insight about how they are being funded but I know that next year they will be backed by budget as they will come out as full ministries. I am also aware that the SGF is working assiduously to ensure the seamless take off of the ministries, supported with key administrative structures, like permanent secretaries, directors and assistant directors,” a highly placed source in the Presidency revealed last night.
He added that the federal government had also put a committee in place to work on the establishment of manning levels for all the ministries while the committee has been holding regular meetings to actualize the mandate.
“We have less than three months before this year comes to end and going by the mood of the National Assembly, that they want the budget to end in December and not stretch into March as the case may be next year, then it is safe to assume that next year, there will be a budget for the new ministries,” the source said