The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has been trending on social media for an mathematical blunder she committed during a press briefing. Kemi, who was talking about an agency that conducts examination in Nigeria, said they made N16 billion surplus from selling recharge cards, after collecting N6 billion from the federal purse. According to her calculation, the agency made a total of N24 billion.
It’s unbelievable that this 49-year old London-born Minister, would goof at an arithmetic that a 5-year old would solve without stress. Kemi has a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of East London and a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Financial Management from the University of London. She is also a Chartered Accountant at the Institute of Chartered Accountants England and Wales.
Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the top examination bodies are the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), West African Examination Council (WAEC) and National Examination Council (NECO). Although the finance minister didn’t mention any name, she could be referring to any of them.
“As we speak now we have done a procurement process, we have appointed auditors, and those auditors are now going into those companies to look at their cost. I will give you one example but I will not name the agency, but I’m sure you will work out the who I’m talking about. There’s an agency that does examinations, their total draw from the federal purse was about N6 billion, that is capital, overhead and salaries.
“They generated n16 billion from sale of scratch cards, results…making a total of N24 billion and they generated or declared a surplus of N3 million. So we are now saying, if we have already paid your salary, gave you overhead, gave you capital, that 16 billion that you generated from members of the public, what did you use it for? Our approach now is “public money is public money,” whether it’s from oil, whether it’s from scratch card, it must be subjected to the same level of scrutiny.
“So those ones, if we ask them to bring a budget, they will show us that they need to spend N16 billion, and we don’t believe those figures so we are going to those agencies to look at their cost and then we would be able to give some guidance to the National Assembly to say for this agency, based on what we think, they should be able to make a surplus of say N5 billion or reduce what you charge the public.”
Watch Her Commit The Mathematical Blunder: