The Managing Director of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency FERMA, Nurudeen Rafindadi, has revealed that the Ministries of Finance and Works and Housing inflated their 2021 budget by over N11 billion.
According to a report by The Nation, Mr Rafindadi made the revelation on Thursday while defending the 2021 budget of the agency before the House of Representatives Committee on FERMA, headed by Rep. Richard Femi Bamise.
A member of the committee, Yusuf Gadgi had asked the FERMA boss why their budget had a sudden increase of over N11 billion.
He said: “Earlier to this moment, we’re privileged to know your budget proposal to the ministry which before getting to National Assembly the proposal changed from twenty something billion, to thirty something billion.
”I will respectfully want you to address that aspect. Are you in charge of FERMA, how come before the proposal got to National Assembly, it was increased upwards?
“If it was increased, confirm to us now, if it was not increased confirm to us. And if it was increased, who is responsible for the increment with what you defended during your inter ministerial defence; and coming to National Assembly, and amount of over N11 billion was increased in the proposal you have earlier submitted. We want that confirmation from you.”
The FERMA boss, while answering the question said: “Our proposal of budget as it is today is submitted to the federal ministry of works. And the reason is that FERMA is an agency under the supervision of the federal ministry of works. We’re represented at the cabinet by the honourable minister of works.
“Our budget is in the envelope of the ministry so the ministry is asked to submit their budget within that envelope and it includes budgets of agencies under the ministry of which FERMA is one. So we get instructions to submit our budget through the ministry of works, we submitted to them.
“And yes it is true, we submit our budget to the ministry, what happens after is between the ministry, then ministry of Finance, budget and Natonal planning until subsequently it reaches the House of Representatives.
“We only know what was in our budget after submission. We’ve since gotten the budget of FERMA as submitted to National Assembly and we’ve been analyzing the differences between the two budget like you said.”