15 January 2014

Nigeria: Like Maths Centre, College of Education Budgets for Railway

The Federal College of Education (FCE), Katsina, in the north-west geopolitical zone, is to spend N2, 520,962 on railway equipment maintenance, LEADERSHIP's further scrutiny of the 2014 Appropriation Bill has shown. This enrols the college in the league of federal educational institutions that plan to spend on railway equipment maintenance in 2014. The other is the National Mathematical Centre at Sheda in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, as exclusively reported by LEADERSHIP on Thursday, January 9, 2014.

In that report, LEADERSHIP highlighted the provision of N465, 522 for railway equipment maintenance by the National Mathematical Centre in addition to provisions for aircraft maintenance (N509, 216.00) and sea boat maintenance (N429, 056).

Reacting angrily to the LEADERSHIP story, a representative of the Maths Centre threatened, in a text message to the editor, to go to court if after seven days the editor did not bring him a copy of the budget to confirm that these items are in it.

This suggests that the person issuing threats of litigation does not have details of the 2014 appropriation bill in relation to the Maths Centre.

LEADERSHIP can also affirm that the mathematicians at Sheda plan to defray aircraft fuel cost of N293,974 in 2014 in addition to N421,224 on sea boats' fuel cost.

The National Mathematical Centre also plans to spend N280million to acquire intangible assets such as patents in 2014.

While analysts agree that payments to patent holders are not unusual in the budget of a research centre, many worry about the transparency of the acquisitions, given that tangible assets procured by government offices sometimes vanished into thin air, leaving only book entries in their trails.

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