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Reps Reject Executive's 97% Capital Vote Cut For Science & Technology

Source: SAINT MUGAGA. - thewillnigeria.com
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ABUJA, Feb 10, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives today expressed concern over the reduction of the budgetary allocation for the development of Science and Technology in the country.

The position of the House was put forward at a budget defence meeting between the House Committee on Science and Technology and the Ministry of Science and Technology at the National Assembly.

The lawmakers discovered after a thorough scrutiny that only N5.1 billion was budgeted for Capital projects in the Science and Technology sector in the 2011 Budget, an area which attracted budgetary allocation of N53 billion in 2010.

The committee expressed dismay that the Federal Government is not giving adequate funding to the development of Science and Technology as portrayed in the 2011 budget.

Chairman of the Committee, Hon Ishaq Akinlade, noted that it took the National Assembly's doggedness to raise the budget for Capital development in the sector to N53 billion last year.

He lamented that rather than build on that, the executive arm of government reduced it from N53 billion to N5 billion, representing a drop of 97.35 per cent.

He stressed that “For any country to move forward science and technology must be taken seriously, for us to be like other countries we have to go back to the drawing board, this proposal is dead on arrival because an allocation of N5 billion is too small. It is worrisome that the federal government is paying lip service to the issue of science development.”

He then asked the ministry to revisit the budget with a view to reviewing upwards the allocation, adding that “the ministry has to go back; 20% of the budget is not too big to be allocated for the development science and technology.