President Bola Tinubu has assented to the N2.18 trillion 2023 Supplementary Appropriation Bill passed by the National Assembly last week.
The bill is aimed at providing additional funding for the government to meet its obligations and address critical infrastructure needs.
THE WHISTLER recalls that the bill’s passage was met with controversies, particularly over the allocation of funds for certain luxury items such as a N5 billion part payment for a presidential yacht.
The allocations include the renovation of the residential quarters of the Vice President (Abuja) – N2.5 billion; renovation of Dodan Barracks, Lagos, official residence of the President – N4 billion; renovation of official quarters of the VP (Lagos) – N3 billion; construction of office complex in the Presidential Villa – N4 billion; purchase of presidential yacht – N5 billion; purchase of vehicles for the Office of First Lady – N1.5 billion; purchase of SUVs for the Presidential Villa – N2.9 billion; and replacement of operational vehicles for the Presidency – N2.9 billion.
However, the government defended the expenditures, stating that they are necessary for the proper functioning of the presidency.
In a statement, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, particularly addressed concerns about the N5 billion allocation for the purchase of a presidential yacht.
“Following public reactions over the provision for what is termed presidential yacht and other line items in the 2023 Supplementary Appropriation presented to the National Assembly, we consider it very imperative to clear any misconception and misunderstanding of the issues.
“What was named as Presidential Yacht in the budget is an Operational Naval boat with specialised security gadgets suitable for high profile operational inspection and not for the use of the President.
“It is called a presidential yacht by way of nomenclature because of the high-level security features.”
The presidential aide explained the naval boat was ordered by the navy under the previous Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Onanuga added that Tinubu is a leader who understands the economic challenges being faced by the masses, adding “his administration is working very hard to confront and surmount those challenges.”