The lost but found 2016 budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has undergone serious economic surgery by the strong knife of the presidency. A review of the fresh copy of the budget uploaded to the website of the Budget Office showed a massive slash by about 83.5 percent in the total allocation for purchase of vehicles for State House operations during the year. The initial N8.09 billion provision in the 2016 budget for the purchase of these vehicles has been drastically cut down to N1.34 billion.
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This new figure will be used to buy only five BMW saloon cars, jeeps and also buses for Presidential use during the year. Aside this mass slash of funds allocated to purchase of vehicles, there were other adjustments in the previous allocations to various departments and units in the Presidency. In addition to the funds for salon cars, another N566 million was set aside for the procurement of vehicles, including 16-seater Toyota Hiace coaster buses for the State House. Nonetheless, the total appropriation of N39.13 billion for the Presidency remained unchanged in both the previous and current budget versions.
Meanwhile, Senate President Bukola Saraki, had previously accused the presidency of substituting the original copy of the budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly on December 22, 2015 with a new version. Mr Saraki’s claim was the climax of days of suspense following claims and counterclaims that the document was missing.
Details of the different adjustments showed that State House headquarters, which got a total allocation of N11.91 billion in the original budget has now been cut by N100 million, same as allocations for its recurrent costs, overheads, honorarium & sitting allowance as well as miscellaneous expenses. The purchase of fixed assets, which initially received N4.57 billion was reduced to N1.2 billion, while preservation of the environment and wild life conservation, which got a total of N978.3 million was slashed to N347.4 million.
The Office of the Chief of Staff to the President had its initial allocation of N2.3 million raised to N22.3 million, while allocation to the office of the Chief Security Adviser to the President has also been raised from N3.18 million to N28.18 million. Details of the provision for the two offices include allocation of N25 million each for overhead costs, recurrent and miscellaneous expenditures. Another N25 million has been budgeted for honorarium & sitting allowance for the office of the Chief of Staff.
The State House Medical Centre has been allocated N100 million for total overheads and recurrent costs. The State House, Lagos Liaison Office, which had its allocation increased from N126.7 million to N151.7 million, would get in addition N25 million each for recurrent, overhead and miscellaneous costs.
About N2.3 billion provided earlier for the construction and general provision of fixed assets as well as recreational facilities for the State House has now been removed. While rehabilitation and repairs of fixed assets previously allocated N4.48 billion was increased to N13.2 billion. Rehabilitation/repairs of residential buildings and electricity facilities previously allocated N388 million and N1.7 billion respectively have now been raised to N642.6 million and N1.8 billion respectively.
Another provision of N3.9 billion has been made for the rehabilitation of office building, while renovation of eight blocks of 16 two-bedroom flats at State House Security quarter, Asokoro, would take about N254.6 million. About N3.9 billion has been set aside for the annual routine maintenance of Villa facilities by Julius Berger, in addition to N764.7million provided for the construction/provision of recreational facilities.