Friday, September 22, 2023
PoliticsUniversities in Tigray to get 3.4 billion birr budget from federal government

Universities in Tigray to get 3.4 billion birr budget from federal government

About 3.4 billion birr budget has been allocated for four universities in the Tigray region for the fiscal year 2022/23. About 1.46 billion birr of the budget is allocated for capital projects in universities.

The budget for the four; Mekelle, Axum, Adigrat and Raya universities, has been approved with plans to improve their student admission capacity and the construction of infrastructure.  The budget is excluding a 12 billion birr capital expenditure planned to allot for the region in the form of subsidy.

The four universities, administered by the Ministry of Education, have been affected by the war, halting educational programs, as have other facilities in the region. Students from other regions studying at these universities were forced to complete their studies elsewhere in the country.

However, the Ministry of Education intends to increase the universities new student admission capacity in 2022/23.

Mekelle University’s admission capacity of 6000 students will be increased by 500, while Raya University’s annual student admission capacity is expected to increase by 6,600 students to 10,000.

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The capital budget approved for the region for the new fiscal year stands at 2.9 billion birr. It is going to be used to complete different road projects and construction of Ministry of Revenue’s Mekelle branch building, and Shire Endasilasie Airport tower. The attainability of the projects however depend on the success of the negotiation between the warring parties.

Even before the war began, the federal budget for the Tigray region was a source of contention. Following the regional election held in August 2020, the House of Federation (HoF) announced its decision to cease the distribution of its budget to the region’s newly formed cabinet. The war started one month later.

In the just ended fiscal year, the federal government had allocated a budget to the region but was not disbursed.

“We cannot stop budgeting for the Tigray region. The constitution states that the budget should be allocated to all regions,” Abiy told MPs during last week session. He went on to say that the government is looking into the matter in light of Tigrayans’ suffering.

The disbursement however depends on the resolution of the northern Ethiopian war.

The government’s intention to resolve the war peacefully is now becoming clearer, since it appointed its negotiators. However, the two warring parties have not yet agreed on mediators.

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