The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Beta Edu, has lamented the ministry’s paltry budget allocation, saying it can’t alleviate poverty.
She raised the alarm while defending the 2024 budget of the ministry at the National Assembly on Tuesday in Abuja.
She lamented before the Senator Idiat Adebule-led Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation, noting that the sum of N532.5 billion, which represents a 28 per cent increase over the 2023 budget to cushion the effects of inflation, was grossly inadequate.
She insisted that the 28 per cent increase in the overhead ceiling is not commensurate with the 27.33 per cent inflationary rate in the economy today.
The capital budget ceiling, according to her, was reduced from N3.7 billion in 2022 to N1.328316 billion in 2023, which represents a 71 per cent reduction.
To tackle poverty in line with the mandate of the ministry, Edu pleaded with the panel to look into her envelope to increase it.
The chairman of the committee, Idiat Adebule, asked whether the minister presented the budget for the Trust Fund at the budget planning stage.
Beta Edu said it was presented to the Ministry of Budget but was not included in what her ministry got.
She said: “This was clearly stated as an omission and that is why we are asked to bring it in as a memo to the committee to see how they can consider it.”
When asked by the committee members if she had the memo with her, Beta responded in the affirmative.