As Nigerians look forward to the “budget of change” in 2016, details have emerged that the Presidency has proposed to spend N39 billion in running the Office of the President with substantial amount of N3.6 billion going to car purchase and another N189 million to change tyres for some specified number of vehicles.
Some details provided in the 2016 budget breakdown indicate that the vehicles that will gulp the budgeted sum for tyres include Mercedes Benz bullet proof and plain, Toyota cars, trucks, Land Cruiser SUV, Prado SUV, Hilux, Peugeot 607 and 406, BMW trucks, ambulances as well as “utility and operational vehicles”.
Further breakdown of the document shows that President Muhammadu Buhari will spend about N1,415,706,197 on both local and international travels and transportation, as against the N944,672,109 jointly spent in 2015 by him and his predecessor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on travels and transportation.
Details of the budget further show that the State House will cumulatively receive N18.1 billion in 2016 as against former President Goodluck Jonathan’s N12.2 billion in 2014 and N6.6 billion in 2015, amid dwindling revenue occasioned by dipping price of crude oil in the international market.
NGTrends notes that the costs cover the State House Headquarters, the president’s office and the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
They also cover the budgets of the State House medical centre and the Lagos Liaison office.
The Presidency will, however, lower the cost of feeding for the first and second families, when compared to the amount spent by the Jonathan administration in previous years.
If approved by the National Assembly, State House will spend N445.5 million for all meal-related expenses, a reduction from N542.86 million and N526.17 million spent by Mr. Jonathan in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
The meal bill includes the cost for the state house headquarters, offices of the president and Vice President Osinbajo.
A breakdown of the figure shows that the president would spend N114.97 million on food stuff/catering materials supplies, as against N16.68 million by his deputy during the 2016 fiscal year.
Vice President Osinbajo would also spend N7.55 million on refreshment and meals, with N2.49 million proposed as cooking gas/fuel costs.
The State House Headquarters will spend N102.94 million on food stuff/catering materials supplies; N104.744 million on refreshment/meals; N89.17 million on purchase of canteen/kitchen equipment and N6.95 million on cooking gas/fuel cost.
The amount proposed to be spent by the State House on meal-related expenses in 2016 is significantly lower than the N993 million budgeted for refreshments, catering services and purchase of kitchen equipment in 2012 by the Jonathan Presidency.
That year, N477million was assigned for foodstuffs and “catering materials supplies” for the president’s office, while an additional N293 million was to provide “refreshment and meals” for the president’s comfort at his home and office.
An extra N45.4 million was earmarked to buy canteen and kitchen equipment for the president’s household, although similar purchases were made the previous year.
After public condemnation of the amount considered insensitive at a time the government removed petrol subsidy and raised the pump price of petrol, the Presidency reduced the budget by N147 million.
In 2013 and 2014, the government significantly lowered the feeding bill with N717.3 million and N542.8 million spent respectively for each year.