The Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Petroleum Upstream, Downstream and Gas Development yesterday queried the N30b recurrent expenditures of the parastatals under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
Of particular concern to the lawmakers was the budgetary proposals of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), which will spend N30.399 billion out of its N31 billion on recurrent expenditure.
The angry lawmakers also disclosed that the oil sector devotes over 80 per cent of its budgeted funds to recurrent votes at the expense of capital budget.
These were the highpoints of the disclosures made when the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke led heads of parastatals under her ministry to a sitting of the joint committees of the National Assembly.
Chairman of Senate Committee on Petroleum Upstream, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, who raised issues concerning the huge overhead costs in the petroleum sector, described the trend as worrisome.
He asked that ministries and parastatals should strive to raise capital votes above recurrent expenditure.
A breakdown of the budget presentation tabled showed that out of DPR’s N35, 997, 149, 841 budgets, capital expenditure are only N4, 786, 302, 790 while N31, 210, 847,051 will go to personnel costs and overheads.?? The budget estimate also indicated that Personnel costs for DPR in 2012 is N30, 399, 182, 331 while the remaining N811, 664, 720 is for overhead costs.
Director of the DPR, Mr. Austin Olorunshola, however told the Joint Committee that the Department was expecting to recruit more staff within the next two weeks.