By Uduma Kalu
As government plans the removal of the fuel subsidy, and as President Goodluck Jonathan asks Nigerian to sacrifice for the future, a breakdown of the 2011 budget shows that there are billions that could be put in better use but are being wasted on presidential food, household utensils, travels and the likes.
In next year’s budget, the presidency will like to spend N1.5b on household repairs. His deputy, Sambo, is seeking N3b for trips and stationeries while both are asking for N1b for food. The budget proposal also makes provision for N16.64 million as rent payable on the official residence of the Vice President.
This seems to be the first time money is allocated as rent for an official residence of either the President or his deputy.
The budget also shows that the Presidency is likely to acquire two bullet proof vehicles next year. They are to cost N280 million.. Under the “replacement of aged vehicles of the presidential ground fleet (PGF)”, N280 million is set aside for two bullet proof vehicles for the President and the Vice President.
The budget proposes the “procurement of two treated (bullet proof) Mercedes Benz saloon 600 E Guard for use by the President and Vice President at N140,000,000 each”.
Next year, the Presidency plans to spend N356,724,300 to replace aged vehicles belonging to the presidential ground fleet.
Besides, there are plans to acquire “five Mercedes benz saloon 350 (semi plain/partial bullet proof) at N25,000,000 each, 10 jeeps (assorted – Range Rover, Prado and Land Cruiser) at N10,000,000 each and procurement of accessories and maintenance equipment for guard vehicles at N25,000,000.”
In the budget, provision has been made for the upgrade of Villa facilities, such as the “extension of Villa gates 2, 7 & 11 at N75,960,819.50; extension of power supply to the State House Central Store at N35,913,032.40; extension of UPS power source to (the popular) Presidential Guest House No. 7, Villa, at N57,427,205.20”.
Other planned upgrades are the “overhauling of power house generator sets 1and 2 at N127, 500,000; renovation and refurbishing of the family wing of the main residence at N512,375,533.00; land reclamation at the State House Medical Centre at N385,350,320.00; rehabilitation of transformer sub-station in the Villa at N101,671,574.78; extension/expansion of State House car parks at N97,950,710.50 and provision of communication equipment for the Villa, Dodan Barracks, Marina and Vice President’s guest house in Lagos at N 108,000,000.00.”
These upgrades amount to N1,502,149,195.38. Under the on-going projects, provision has been made for the acquisition, upgrading and furnishing of the Vice President’s guest house at Aguda. The cost: N230,132,579.
Last year, the project was earmarked to cost N400,000,000. The rehabilitation of the presidential/ministerial chalet at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, Abuja, is billed to cost N36,876,378 in 2012. Last year, N48,000,000 was budgeted.
Unlike the 2011 budget, the rehabilitation of 10 houses on Ibrahim Taiwo Street for use as presidential guest houses is proposed to cost the country N5,350,600, each amounting to N52,866,750. In this year’s budget, the project was estimated to cost N101,000,000.
The rehabilitation of the State House Marina, and Dodan Barracks, both in Lagos, is to cost N530,571,330 next year. Both projects were estimated to cost N628,640,000 this year.
Also in next year’s budget proposal is the rehabilitation of the Villa administrative building, which, according to the budget details, “requires thorough renovation which has not come since 10 years.
“The work is for repair and renovation of the entire building complex, including electrical, mechanical and other services.” N357,731,882 is proposed for the project, which attracted a N302,291,157 vote this year.
There is also the rehabilitation of the banquet hall dome roof. “The dome of the banquet hall is showing signs of whethering and needs total rehabilitation, using specialised scaffolding system and application of bitumen.”
Next year, N62,228,920 is voted; N81,000,000 was budgeted for the project this year.
VP to spend N3b on trips, stationeries
Vice President Muhammad Namadi Sambo himself plans to spend N1.7 billion on trips in 2012 and N1.3 billion on office stationeries. . His office, according to the 2012 budget estimates, would spend N1, 674, 811, 793 on local and foreign travels.
The State House would spend N723 million on the Sambo’s local travels and transports and another N951 million on his international travels and transports, a breakdown of the budget can reveal.
Of the N18.35 billion budgeted for the State House, Sambo would spend another N1.3 billion on office stationeries. The estimates indicate that the vice president’s office would gulp N343 million on computer consumables; N12 million on books; N45 million on newspapers; N9 million on magazines and periodicals.
Also, he is planning to spend N314 million on drugs and medical supplies; N477 million on foodstuff and catering material supplies; N121 million on printing of non-security documents; N11 million on teaching aids and instructional materials.
Similarly, the State House would expend N2.4 billion for the maintenance services at the vice president’s office. Of this amount budgeted for maintenance, N382 million is for vehicles; N53 million for office furniture; N1.7 billion for office building and residential quarters; N137 million for office IT equipment; N15 million on plants and generators and N133 on maintenance services.
The same budget estimates also indicate that President Goodluck Jonathan and his deputy will together enjoy N1 billion worth of food and general catering services in 2012.
According to the budget details, the cost of purchasing foodstuffs, catering supplies, kitchen equipment for the president and his vice, and their offices, will cost the nation N992.57 million.