President Muhammadu Buhari will spend N18.1 billion in 2016 to run the State House, Nigeria’s seat of power, an amount that is N11.5 billion above the sum of N6.6 billion spent by former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in 2015. The costs cover capital and recurrent expenditure for the State House Headquarters, the president’s office and that of the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
These are contained in the N6.08 trillion Budget which the President presented to the National Assembly in December 2015.
However, compared to what the Jonathan administration spent on feeding their families in the previous years, that of Buhari is lower.
Details of the budgeted expenditure for the presidency include: State House headquarters – N12billion; President’s operations – N1.9billion; Vice President’s operations – N322million; Chief of Staff – N2.3million; Chief Security Officer – N3.2million; Lagos liaison office – N127million; State House medical centre – N3.9billion and Feeding N445million.
Most of the figures are higher to allocations budgeted for same departments in recent years under President Goodluck Jonathan.
Again, the total budgeted sum of N18.1 billion is about N5.9 billion more than what Jonathan spent in 2014 on the State House. In 2014, Jonathan spent N12.2 billion on the State House, while in 2015, the government spent N6.6 billion for the presidential office, in response to dwindling revenue and sliding oil prices.
A comparative analysis of the 2015 budget and the present 2016 by our Nigerian Pilot Board of Economists shows serious disparities and mark ups in terms of allocations to various sub-heads in the State House by those that prepared the 2016 budget. These jack-ups were done at a time when global economy is down, oil prices wobbling and hardship starring citizens on the face,- factors that made the visiting Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, IMF, to advise Nigerian leaders to embrace fiscal discipline in managing national resources stressing that Nigeria with her vast potentials does not need foreign loan to revive her ailing economy.
For instance contrary to this year’s budgetary provisions, Jonathan administration in 2015 budgeted the sum of N5bn for state house headquarters, N1.2 bn for president’s operations, N227m for Vice-president’s operations respectively.
And while the previous administration in 2015 allocated N24.4bn for local and international travels, an amount used by both Jonathan and Buhari, the present administration allocated N39b for same purpose this year- implying that Nigerians should expect more travels from their president and vice president at a period they are expected to stay more at home and tacking myriad problems facing the country.
Also in this year’s budget is the sum of N362m for Wildlife Conservation as against N24. 6m voted for same last year, including the purchase of exotic animals,
Acquisition of presidential canteen materials and kitchen equipment increased from N83.1m in 2015 to N89m in 2016, while supply of foodstuff and catering services in the Vice President’s office rose from N11m in 2015 to N16.6m this year.
In a related development, a staggering sum of N3.6bn is voted for the purchase of BMW saloon cars for principal officers in the State House. Even the number of the cars and purpose are not specified
In addition, the federal government will use the sum of N189.1m tax payers’ money to purchase tyres for the vehicles which include bulletproof and regular Mercedes Benz cars, and other brand of vehicles, such as Toyota cars, trucks, Land Cruiser and Prado SUVs, Hillux pick-up vans, Peugeot 607 and 406 cars, ambulances and other utility and operational vehicles.
That is not all. President Buhari also plans to spend N39.8m for the purchase of an unspecified number of 200 amps, 100 amps and 60 amps Mercedes Benz batteries for bulletproof vehicles, and N30m for the purchase of tool boxes, car jacks, and diagnostic machines for same Presidency’s bulletproof cars. Purchase of C-Caution triangles, fire-extinguishers and cables will gulp N27m.
Furthermore, renovation of State House Guest House got N387m; furnishing of the same Guest House will gulp N45m, the sum of N27.5m is voted for purchase of computers and another N764m is for construction and provision of recreational facilities.
The sum of N114.4m will be spent on state house internet infrastructure upgrade, N22.5m on purchase of internet servers, with another whopping sum of N100m budgeted for what is called ‘Active Devices for State House Network’ and N35m for the purchase of security appliances and licences, including computer anti-virus software.
Most of the above figures are higher compared to allocations for similar projects under former President Goodluck Jonathan administration, thereby making analysts to wonder whether the present administration is actually determined to cut down on the cost of governance as earlier promised.

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