Buhari’s regime complains about N59m earmarked for presidential accommodation and wants N644m

State House Permanent Secretary Tijjani Umar says State House’s proposed 2023 budget of N21.1 billion is less than the N40.1 billion 2022 allocation of N19.01 billion naira, decrying the 59 million naira earmarked for the State House complex and guesthouses in Lagos.

Umar revealed this when he led other senior State House officials to defend the 2023 budget proposals before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs on Thursday in Abuja.

In his communication, which also included details on the execution of the 2022 budget, the Permanent Secretary noted a marginal decrease in personnel costs due to the planned retirement of 40 staff members in 2023.

According to him, the levels of recurrent expenditure in the various cost centers have been maintained with the exception of marginal increases in the Office of the President, the Vice President and the Chief of Staff of the President.

Regarding the capital expenditure for 2023, Mr. Umar explained that the main areas of spending by the State House under the capital appropriations include the annual routine maintenance of the facilities at the Presidential Villa in Abuja and the State House Complex in Lagos.

It also includes the purchase of operational motor vehicles, the State House Clinic and the proposed National Coordinating Center for Early Warning and Response Mechanism (NCCRM) in the Office of the Vice President for Strategic Preparedness and resilience (OSPRE).

Abuja and Lagos facilities include but not limited to the buildings and infrastructure of the President’s and Vice President’s Residences, Offices, State House Auditorium, State House Gymnasium and the Presidential Banquet Hall.

Others are the Council Chamber, State House Conference Center, Airport Presidential and Ministerial Chalets and Airport Lounge in Abuja, and State House, Dodan Barracks Complex in Lagos.

While noting that the commitment to these facilities is 65% of the total credit, Umar revealed that to keep them in optimum condition, 7.20 billion naira had been offered for 2023 compared to 7.76 billion naira in 2022.

“Closely following is the urgent and urgent need to completely replace and modernize the communication/telephone system and the electronic management of visitor records in the Presidential Villa,” he said.

He added that 150 million naira had been proposed to complete the telecommunications infrastructure in 2023.

Regarding the facilities and buildings of the Lagos Liaison Office complex and guesthouses, the permanent secretary told the committee that ”they are old and require not only maintenance but also renovation and renewal’ ‘.

He expressed concern that the provision of 59 million naira for the maintenance of the State House Lagos complex and guesthouses was insufficient, pointing out that around 644 million naira would be needed to upgrade the facilities.

Regarding the procurement of operational motor vehicles and following discussions with the Federation Budget Office, Mr Umar said N1.96 billion was being offered as part of the phased replacement of ground fleet vehicles. President and those of the Conference Coordinating Unit (CCU).

“It should be noted that most of the vehicles offered for replacement were purchased over 10 years ago and have since passed their useful economic life. “This has led to frequent breakdowns and unsustainable expense on repairs/replacements of parts,” the dry perm added.

He argued that the released amount of N800 million was insufficient to procure the required numbers which need to be replaced.

(NOPE)

About Michael B. Billingsley

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