By Emeka Anaeto, Economy Editor
LAGOS — There are indications that the 2016 budget was actually withdrawn for a major amendment as two different versions of the budget are showing different figures and adjustments in expenditure heads.
A version indicating to be an amendment shows a major cut of about N8.8 billion in the Presidency’s original figure with purchase of vehicles receiving the deepest cuts.
Also the new version has provision of N17 billion for capital expenditure allocated to Niger Bridge at Asaba-Onitsha, Delta and Anambra states, though there was no such provision in the first version submitted to the National Assembly.
The expense heads that received big cuts include Fixed Asset Purchase reduced by N3.374 billion to N1.196 billion from N4.57 billion while purchase of motor vehicles was reduced by N3.29 billion to N599 million from N3.889 billion.
Others include State House headquarters, recurrent costs, overhead, miscellaneous, honorarium/sitting allowance each of which were reduced by N100 million.
Expenditures for construction and provision of general fixed asset, which appeared to have had double entry at N764.67 million each, were scrapped in the second budget.
The President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, had last Thursday 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.
Saraki’s claim was the climax of days of suspense following claims and counter-claims that the document was missing.
Reduces allocation for exotic cars by N17bn
A review of the fresh copy of the budget uploaded to the website of the Budget Office of the Federation on Friday showed a massive cut by about 83.5 per cent in the total allocation for the vehicles.
A total of N7.52 billion was provided previously for the purchase of various exotic vehicles, including BMW saloon cars, in addition to another N566 million for the procurement of vehicles, including 16-seater Toyota Hiace coaster buses for the State House.
Despite the adjustments to the allocations to the various departments and units, the total appropriation of N39.13 billion for the Presidency remained unchanged in both the previous and current budget versions.
Details of the different adjustments showed that State House headquarters, which got 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.
Equally, the purchase of fixed assets, which received N4.57 billion previously, has drastically been reduced to about N1.2 billion, while preservation of the environment and wild life conservation, which got a total of N978.3 million, has now been reduced 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 and 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.