By Ogar Monday: House of Assembly Correspondent Follow @ogar_monday
The Cross River State Ministry of Education has budgeted the sum of NGN530 million for an item tagged “Expatriate Staff Upkeep” in its 2018 proposed spending.
And, NGN2.5 million was budgeted for Teachers Training.
The Commissioner for Education, Mr. Goddy Ettah disclosed this while defending the Ministry’s 2018 budget proposal before the House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation.
The committee queried the idea behind spending huge millions for the construction of schools with Mr. Fred Osim (PDP, Ikom 1) wondering why the training and retraining of teachers was not a priority.
And, Mr. Ettah agreed to this and maintained that the amount budgeted cannot even take care of the training of teachers in one local government and posited that it was something the ministry is “hoping to look into.”
He said the standard of education had improved which was visible in the movement of the state in the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO) rankings. But, he failed to state what position the state had occupied and currently occupies.
Mr. Ettah said the state needs more teachers. He averred that a total of 1246 Mathematics teachers are currently needed and almost a similar figure for English Language.
Mr. Ettah pointed out that the money for the employment was provided in the last budget but was not released and expressed hope that things will be different this year.
The Ministry’s budget totals NGN29 billion representing less than three percent of the entire budget.
In a related development, the Ministry of Health had last week, defended a budget of NGN75 billion tagged “Syzygistic Systematic Synchronization.”
The Commissioner for Health who spent over 6 hours defending the budget with her team said it’s a unified budget of the sector which comprises of over 30 departments, boards, agencies, schools, colleges and health facilities.
“The upgrading and equipping of all the facilities in the State with state-of-the-art equipments, the effective functionality of the various Departments, Agencies and Boards in the Ministry, the accreditation and renovation of all the schools of nursing and midwifery in the State and the building of the AyadeCare Specialist Hospital and the Calabar International Hospital respectively which we want to achieve with this budget among other things will increase the revenue of the Ministry and also increase the medical tourism potential of the State,” she said.
“Our ultimate goal as a health cluster is to provide quality and affordable healthcare services for every resident of the State irrespective of their background and status quo whilst also increasing the revenue sources of the State at large through the engagement of our various boards and agencies,” added Mrs. Asibong.
He however explained why he presented the budget but criticisms have continued to trail the non release of the budget and those of 2016 and 2017.
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