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Politics

Presidency Defends Wike, Says Jonathan Awarded Multibillion Construction Of VP’s Residence

Shettima 2

The Presidency has countered Peter Obi’s criticism of the N15 billion allocated for the Vice President’s residence, clarifying that the project was initiated and awarded by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

Responding to Obi’s claims in a statement titled “Peter Obi And The Limits Of Self-Aggrandizement,” the spokesperson for Vice President Kashim Shettima, Mr Stanley Nkwocha, emphasized that the project was not conceived by the Tinubu administration.

According to Nkwocha, Shettima remains dedicated to serving Nigeria and is uninterested in “dubious or phony politics of statistics manipulation or mind games.”

He said that the project which was reinitiated in 2010 and funded by the Jonathan administration was abandoned.

“Appalled by the sorry state of the uncompleted building that was now overtaken by weeds and reptiles over a decade after construction started about 13 years ago, the current FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, felt it would be a waste to allow such a project started with public funds to continue to lie fallow.

“Thus, in his wisdom and without the prompting of the vice-president, decided to resuscitate the building. We invite more cerebral Nigerians to cross check properly.

“What should be considered a waste between Obi’s tantrums because the project has attracted government’s attention, given the decision by the current administration to complete vital abandoned projects.

“What is more wasteful and reckless than abandoning an edifice to rot and depreciate despite the amount that has been sunk into it over the years?

“It did not start today, same for residences of the Senate President and the Speaker. The array of abandoned Federal Government projects littered all over the country is a national embarrassment that the current administration has taken a bold step to save the country from.

“This is why it has made it a priority that all abandoned projects must be completed before new ones are initiated, save for some on exceptional basis, either because of the need for strategic alignment or economic significance.”

Nkwocha stated that comparing the amount budgeted for the residence of the vice-president and salaries paid to Professors was an analogy taken too far.

“This is the only government that has repeatedly made it clear that the welfare of lecturers is paramount and the need to increase the budget of the educational sector is a gradual process in the face of the daunting security challenges it met on ground.

“This same government directed that the backlog of salaries owed to both teaching and non-teaching staff of universities be paid immediately despite the ‘no work, no pay’ order,” Nkwocha added.

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