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Tuesday, October 29

House of Reps committee laments poor funding of National Women’s Centre

Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Women Affairs, Adewunmi Onanuga, has described as grossly inadequate the budgetary allocation to the National Centre for Women Development, Abuja.
Onanuga who said the steady decline in the capital allocation for the centre in the last three budget circles was worrisome, demanded an explanation from the Director-General of the Centre, Mrs. Mary Ekpere-Eta on the issue.
The committee head, who was speaking at the 2020 budget defense session of the centre, stated that it was disappointing that even with the good performance of the agency in the area of training for women and empowerment programmes, its capital budget has seen constant reduction from the 2017 to the 2020 budgets.
She said: “I am asking you questions on your (budget) envelop in order to juxtapose what happened from 2017 to 2019 in terms of budgetary allocation to the centre, where there was a steady figure for a few years. But it has now dropped drastically.
“We would like to know why the drop in your allocation despite how your agency implemented empowerment programmes for women mostly those in the grassroots.
“When you look at the level of implementation of Zonal Intervention Programmes (ZIPs) in 2017 and 2018 as contained in what you have presented to us, I see the need to ask, aside from the probability of austerity measures or the fact that we came out of a recession, why is your overall allocation low?” she queried.
Also speaking at the hearing, Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Vincent Ofumelu, and another member of the Committee, Bashir Daudu said the centre must also improve on its revenue generation drive as the figures for its budget were inadequate.
The lawmaker also stressed the need to reduce overhead and recurrent expenditure through the deployment of ICT and use of alternative energy.
“The total money we are seeing as your budget for 2020 is obviously not enough. So, you must come up with plans to expand funding for your programmes and budget, especially from within”, he said.

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