Ouch! Govt agency spends N8.5bn yearly, generates N410m, remits only N30m to FG account

Mohammed Shafiu Abdullahi

Ouch! Govt agency spends N8.5bn yearly, generates N410m, remits only N30m to FG account

Mohammed Shafiu Abdullahi
Prof. Mohammed Shafiu Abdullahi

The National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies, NBAIS, has been accused of spending N8.5 billion yearly for its 5,963 staff to conduct examination for students.

The Board conducts examination for students of Arabic and Ismalic studies and it is hoping to expand its operations nationwide.

However, when the Senate Committee on Finance and Appropriation met with the NBAIS leadership, it was discovered that the examinations may stand out as the most expensive in Nigerian history.

Following the discovery of heavy spending by the Board in the discharge of its duty, the Senators gave knocks to the Registrar and Chief Executive of the Board, Prof. Mohammed Shafiu Abdullahi, for spending so much money to achieve little.

The Board was also accused of not remitting money generated to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).

In his explanation, Abdullahi said the institution paid N30 million into the CRF out of the N410 million generated from the conduct of the examination. But this did not go down well with the Senate committee prompting the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Solomon Adeola, to query why the institution conducted just one exam in a year and spent over N410 million.

Adeola said: “To conduct an exam in a year, they are saying they have spent over N380 something million and you are here to collect another budget from the Federal Government.

“Having contributed just N35 million.

“And if they are asked for their budget, they will be telling me in the region of N10 billion to N20 billion.”

Senator Abiodun Olujimi, a member of the committee who also felt alarmed by the conduct of the Board said there was urgent need to investigate the activities of the agency.

She said: “5,963 members of staff arranging for one examination in a year and being paid N8.5 billion and now generating only N410 million out of which you remit only N35 million?

“There is a need to look deeper into what this is all about.”

The committee resolved to set up sub-committee that will investigate the Board.

Prof. Abdullahi, recently hinted on the board’s plan to increase the number of schools attending its examinations across the country.

Abdullahi said this at a two-day workshop on Corporate Communication and Strategic Information Management for NBAIS officers in Abuja.

“Now we have not less than 1600 schools across the country sitting for our examinations and same time we achieved to convince the government to give us recognition, approval to operate nationally,’’ he said.

On the workshop, the registrar said it was very important to all the staff, adding that it was important because it was specifically information technology.

“We have workers on ICT, most of them are new, you know, the board started new recently. So, we need to educate our people on that area, that is why we planned the workshop and we will soon have similar workshop,’’ he said.

On the board’s achievements, Abdullahi said was to have a unique and national curriculum for Arabic and Islamic schools.

“Secondly, we are able to mobilised even government to establish such institutions,’’ he said.