May 26, 2013 by ragbroko
Despite a budget of almost N523m to cover electricity charges, Nigeria’s foreign missions will receive an additional N117m for fueling generators, even though many of the embassies are based in developed countries where there is barely any need for electricity generators.
As far back as October 2012, a senate committee raised questions on the issue when the 2013 budget came up for its consideration, with chairman Mohammed Maccido quoted as saying: “These are areas that we should be looking at. A situation where N200m is voted for generators and fueling in countries where power is stable is not fair.”
Senator Maccido may well have been talking to his reflection in a bathroom mirror because the budget has been passed into law.
A detailed analysis of data obtained from civic start-up BUDGIT raises more disturbing questions on this particular aspect of the 2013 budget. And so, working with journalists from Premium Times resulted in this story which asked relevant officials the following questions unearthed by the data:
Using generators in London, New York and Singapore?
- The highest plant/generator costs is for London, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hopes to spend N20.4m paying its electricity bills, yet expects to also spend practically the same amount (N18.3m) running plants/generators in power-stable London. How is this possible?
Given that we are looking at different capitals in different continents, with varying currency values, inflation rates, etc….
A. How can the Bangkok, Bangui, Athens and Atlanta missions have THE EXACT SAME plant/generator fuel costs of N1,573,932?
B. How is it possible that Abu Dhabi, Accra, Addis Ababa and Algiers charge the ministry the same sum (to the last kobo) of N9,899,409 for a year’s supply of electricity?
C. We need more answers to the same question B, as it applies to: Washington and Windhoek (N3,123,787); Abidjan and Ankara (N5,899,409); Johannesburg and Jeddah (N5,921,260); Bangkok, Athens and Baghdad (N4,445,486).
With the foregoing, one is hard-pressed not to think perhaps these figures were slapped on because the cities often follow each other in alphabetical order. But, we plod on.
D. How is it that the budget for “Maintenance of Plant/Generators” is the same N366,982 for Abidjan, Abu Dhabi, Accra, Addis Ababa, Algiers and Ankara?
E. Lisbon has no budget for electricity charges, but has one for plant/generators fuel charges (N712,341). Does this mean Nigeria’s diplomatic post/mission in Lisbon will run solely on generators???
F. In the spirit of accountability, why is there no report – and in some cases, incomplete reports – on fuel/generator costs and electricity charges for Frankfurt, Doha, Amman, Colombo Lilongwe, Istanbul, Prague, Belgrade and The Vatican?
E. Before we forget, is it just a coincidence also that there are similarities in plant/generator fuel costs for Washington and Windhoek (N518,611) as well as for Johannesburg and Jeddah (N1,445,921)?