Inside the ‘dubious’ 2024 budget of Ministry of Youth Development

THE Federal Ministry of Youth Development has budgeted a total of N3.917 billion on local training, travels, data bank, fuel, and what it calls “annual budget expenses and administration,” Economy Post has found.

A breakdown of the 2024 budget shows that while N2.592 billion is budgeted for local training, N150 million has been set aside for “youth data bank,” just as N478.559 million will be used to fuel generators and motor vehicles in the ministry.

Most surprisingly, the ministry has budgeted N53.329 million for an inexplicable “annual budget expenses and administration” and N647 million for travels. In total, these items will cost taxpayers N3.917 billion in 2024.


The ministry is also budgeting N178.398 million for maintenance services, N35.582 for refreshment and meals, and N36.329 million for honorarium and sitting allowance.

Headed by Ms Jamila Bio Ibrahim, a medical doctor, the ministry will spend taxpayers’ N142.406 million on staff welfare and another N370.750 million on “office stationeries and computer consumables.”

‘Dubious budget’

Financial analysts have described the budget as dubious and generic, stating that the ministry had set itself up for failure.


“For instance, I can see N1 billion in the budget to be used to build youth villages and another N800 million for the rehabilitation of youth development centres. So, what is the difference between these two?” asked a former senior bank worker, Mr Simon Uguru.

“By the way, what is the meaning of “youth data bank?” If what they mean is to build data on youths, can’t they request data of young people from the National Identity Management Commission or other agencies like the Independent National Electoral Commission?”

“Moreover, the ministry deserves to tell Nigerians why it is spending over N2 billion on local training. Who are they training? Staff members or young Nigerians? If they are training Nigerian youths, how many will be trained? How many consultants will be engaged? And to think that the ministry will spend another N94 million on consulting is laughable,” he said.

He concluded that spending N53.329 million on an inexplicable “annual budget expenses and administration is nebulous and dubious while the line item is more or less ambiguous.”

A budget expert, Ms Cecilia Uchendu, wondered what the ministry planned to accomplish with youth villages, wondering whether the areas would be used to train young Nigerians on information and technology, or something else.


“If the ministry is going to spend N800 million to rehabilitate youth development centres, what does it intend to use them for? Also, both youth villages and development centres sound alike. Why were they separated by the ministry? Why are you giving grants to international organisations in 2024? This is not the kind of budgeting we should be presenting at this time of economic crisis,” she said.

Nigerian economy is hard hit negative indices. About 133 million Nigerians are multidimensionally poor while inflation hit 28.9 percent in December 2023. Unemployment has exceeded 33.3 percent, while Hanke misery index increased by 12 percent to 73.05 points in May 2023.

Worrying signals

Experts have warned that Nigeria will not make any headway with the current budgeting system adopted by ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). They stress that the use of dubious, ambiguous and factitious terms should stop henceforth, as they enrich civil servants and politicians but impoverish the majority of ctitzens.

“We need to stop the use of ambiguous and dubious terms in the budget. We need to be more specific. As a nation, we also need to mention the number of things which we are funding in a line item. For instance, ‘244 chairs at the cost of N15.03 million.’ Some MDAs actually do that, but many do not.

“This will enhance transparency and give factcheckers work to do,” Mr Uguru, earlier quoted, said.


For Ms Uchendu, “Nigeria’s civil servants and legislators need reorientation because we all suffer the effects of corruption. When these ambiguous and suspicious items are included in the budget, it is the capital expenditures that suffer. They first remove the money for those items and leave the remaining for capital projects. Even if a ministry budgeted N200 billion but got only N5 billion, it would first cater for those ambiguous projects and leave whatever (if any) is left for capital projects.”

Economy Post reached out to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Youth Development, Mr Olatunji John, to explain the confusion in the budget but he said he left the ministry 3 years ago.

He provided a phone number of the contact person. However, the person denied being the contact person of the ministry.

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