The House of Representatives Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) has uncovered the padding of the agency’s budget to the tune of N11 billion.
The Managing Director of the FERMA, Mr Nurudeen Rafindadi, has however disowned the increment of the agency’s budget, saying what was proposed for 2021 was different from what is presently before the National Assembly.
Rafindadi had appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on FERMA in Abuja on Thursday to defend the proposal by the agency.
The drama started when a member of the committee, Yusuf Gagdi, asked the FERMA boss why the agency’s budget had suddenly increased by over N11bn after returning from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
But Rafindadi denied the increment, saying, “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 are represented at the cabinet by the Honourable Minister of Works (and Housing, Babatunde Fashola).
“Our budget is subsumed in the envelope of the Federal Ministry of Works, so the ministry is asked by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to submit its budget within a specified envelope and that envelope includes budgets of agencies under the supervision of the ministry, of which FERMA is one. So, we get instructions to submit our budget through the Ministry of Works; we submit it to the Ministry of Works.
“What happens after is between the Ministry of Works and the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and subsequently until it reaches the House. We only know what was in our budget after submission of the budget to the National Assembly.”